ATLANTA — A state agency has rejected the protests of three losing bidders over the state’s selection of vendors for a multibillion-dollar Medicaid and PeachCare contract.

Unsuccessful bidders AmeriChoice (a unit of UnitedHealthcare), Humana and AmeriHealth Caritas had appealed a September decision by the Department of Administrative Services (DOAS) to award the contract to four other bidders.

The losing bidders raised questions about the contract evaluation process, the scoring of proposals, and the evaluation team, among other issues.

The DOAS decision rejecting the protests, announced Tuesday, ends a five-month waiting period for the contract appeals to be resolved.

The losing bidders, though, still can request that the DOAS commissioner review the decision, and they also can take their case to the court system if they wish to continue their appeals.

The new contract originally was set to start this July, but the Department of Community Health, the state’s Medicaid agency, has said it will be Jan. 1, 2017, at the earliest.

Four companies – Amerigroup, Peach State, WellCare and CareSource – were picked in September as winners of the contract to serve lower-income adults and children in Georgia.

The contract for the “Care Management Organizations” is worth an estimated $4 billion over six years.

The three incumbent companies, Amerigroup, Peach State and WellCare, will continue to deliver services under an extension of the current contract.

Big state contracts involve a lot of money, so protests by unsuccessful bidders are not unusual. The CMO contract is one of the biggest.

A Humana spokesman declined comment Wednesday on the appeals decision. Officials with AmeriChoice and AmeriHealth Caritas could not be reached for comment.


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