Lawsuits Charge California Department of Public Health With Placing AIDS/HIV Patients at Risk

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Oakland-Based Ramsell Corp. Alleges State’s Bidding Processes Threaten Patient Access to Life-Saving Drugs

Ramsell

Ramsell

A longtime provider of health services to California AIDS/HIV patients announced today it has filed two lawsuits against the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) alleging that attempts to switch the program to new, out-of-state vendors in less than three weeks could put patients at risk.

The suits, filed Tuesday by Oakland-based Ramsell Corporation in Sacramento County Superior Court (Case Numbers: 34-2016-80002371 and 34-2016-80002373), seek to keep the current AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) in place until a judge can review the lawsuits.

The suits claim CDPH’s transition is a hasty and “hectic attempt” to quickly shift responsibility from Ramsell, which has successfully overseen the ADAP program for 19 years, to out-of-state vendors. The result “will unnecessarily place at risk the patients who are dependent on the program for life-saving drugs,” according to the suits.

ADAP is a federal program administered by the states to help ensure that people living with HIV and AIDS, who are uninsured and under-insured, have access to medication.

Transitioning to new vendors is an enormously complex endeavor that involves: (1) creating and managing client database; (2) capturing and tracking client, third-party, insurance coverage; (3) capturing and tracking client-patient eligibility for benefits and coverage; (4) providing notification to ADAP enrollment workers, ADAP Clients, Department of General Services participating entities and, if applicable, participating entities’ program, participating entities’ clients, regarding program eligibility and benefits; (5) hosting program pharmaceutical formularies; (6) exchanging information between contractors and the state’s enrollment benefits management, medical benefits management companies and other contractors; and (7) providing reporting functions.

Bidding Processes
Ramsell’s lawsuits are specific to each of the following contracts: Pharmacy Benefits Management (PBM), which was awarded to Arizona-based Magellan Rx Management, LLC, and the Enrollment Benefits Management (EBM) program awarded to Michigan-based A.J. Boggs & Co., Inc.

The suit over PBM alleges that in procuring the new contracts, CDPH: (1) failed to follow its own rules as set forth in the Request for Proposals (RFP); and (2) conducted the procurement in a biased manner that was slanted in favor of the out-of-state companies.

The suit relating to the EBM contract alleges that after Ramsell complained about major defects in the unfair procurement, CDPH cancelled the award to Boggs, and then gave them an illegal, sole-sourced contract only days later in violation of the requirements of the State Contracting Manual. The lawsuit also notes that the Boggs’ bid was about three times higher ($9 million more) than the Ramsell bid.

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About Ramsell Corporation
Ramsell Corporation has been creating positive outcomes for the health and safety of underserved populations since 1964. We help organizations maximize limited resources through cost-effective coordination of care and services for complex populations managed by public health programs, education and corrections. Ramsell offers highly-configurable, web-based technology solutions, services and expertise to assist our clients in connecting people to the services they need. Ramsell provides solutions for pharmacy benefit management, 340B program management, medication therapy management and correctional applications for Medicaid administrative claiming, discharge planning and community supervision. Ramsell is based in Oakland, California. For more information, go to: http://www.ramsellcorp.com.

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Stevan Allen

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