Health Plan Settles Fla. Lawsuits; Minn. HMOs Return $73M To State, Feds

In Florida, a health plan in Tampa will pay $137.5 million to settle lawsuits over Medicare and Medicaid claims, while Earvin "Magic" Johnson plans to invest in a new HIV plan there. In Minnesota, the federal government and the state will split $73 million nonprofit HMOs are returning while other Minnesota health plans profits jump 21 percent.

The Associated Press: Tampa-Based WellCare Agrees To $137.5M Settlement
Federal prosecutors say a Tampa-based health care provider has agreed to pay $137.5 million to settle four lawsuits involving fraudulent Medicare and Medicaid claims in nine states. The U.S. Attorney in Tampa announced the settlement Tuesday. The suits claimed WellCare Health Plans Inc. falsely inflated the amount it claimed to be spending on medical care to avoid returning the money to Medicaid and other programs (4/3).

The Miami Herald: Magic Johnson Invests In Miami-Dade Health Plan
Magic Johnson Enterprises is investing in a Miami-based insurer, Simply Healthcare Plans, to create a major Medicaid program for HIV-AIDS patients that takes advantage of a bill signed last week by Gov. Rick Scott. The companies announced the partnership Tuesday to mark the official launch of Clear Health Alliance, a subsidiary of Simply that is a Medicaid plan for those with HIV and AIDS. The alliance will start in Miami-Dade and expand throughout Florida (Dorschner, 4/3).

Minnesota Public Radio: Minn. HMOs To Return $73M To State
Four big Minnesota managed-care plans will repay state and federal taxpayers an estimated $73 million as part of a deal the HMOs made with Gov. Mark Dayton's administration last year (Stawicki, 4/3). 

(St. Paul) Pioneer Press: Minnesota Nonprofit HMOs To Pay State $73 Million
The state and federal governments will split $73 million in expected repayments from Minnesota's HMOs as a result of a cap on health plan profits during 2011. State officials expect to receive the money by the summer and anticipate about half of it will go to the federal government, Gov. Mark Dayton said Tuesday, April 3. Many options are on the table, but the money could be used help restore pay for personal care assistants, which has been cut, officials said (Snowbeck, 4/4).

(St. Paul) Pioneer Press: Minnesota Health Plans' Operating Earnings Jump 21%
Minnesota's nonprofit health plans collectively saw operating profit increase by 21 percent last year as the industry's financial reserves reached $2.8 billion. As a group, health plans saw income from operations of $355.7 million last year on premium revenue of $19.8 billion. That works out to just under cents of profit per dollar of revenue, according to figures released Tuesday, April 3, by the Minnesota Council of Health Plans (Snowbeck, 4/3).

This is part of Kaiser Health News' Daily Report - a summary of health policy coverage from more than 300 news organizations. The full summary of the day's news can be found here and you can sign up for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report here. In addition, our staff of reporters and correspondents file original stories each day, which you can find on our home page.