TOPEKA – A company managing part of the Medicaid program in Kansas and its parent company allege in court documents that a former executive tried to “extort” $3 million from them after being fired.
Sunflower State Health Plan and parent Centene Corporation made the allegations Monday in response to a federal lawsuit filed in October by former Sunflower Vice President Jacqueline Leary.
Leary alleges in her lawsuit that she was wrongfully fired in January after protesting potentially improper cost-cutting moves for the Kansas Medicaid program.
Sunflower and Centene said Leary demanded $3 million from them in February. Leary attorney Lewis Galloway did not immediately return a telephone message seeking comment.
Medicaid covers health services for the poor and disabled.
Kansas turned its administration over to three private companies, including Sunflower.