Palmetto plans to lay off 200

Saturday, March 31, 2007

WASHINGTON - Palmetto GBA and Cigna Government Services are headed in different directions.
In mid-February, about a month after losing the Region C MAC contract to Cigna, Palmetto announced plans to lay off 700 employees (the affected workers will be "given priority in selection for other jobs" within the organization, said a company spokesman). At about the same time, Cigna began looking to hire more than 200 employees as it ramps up to serve about 13 million additional Medicare beneficiaries and providers in Region C. To handle the MAC contract, valued at $144 million over five years, Cigna must fill positions in numerous departments, including claims, quality control and management.
In January, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) ruled in favor of Cigna for the MAC contract. The decision capped a months-long battle between Palmetto and Cigna. In January 2006, CMS originally awarded the MAC contract to Palmetto, which had served as Region C DMERC since 1993. Soon after, Cigna, which also bid on the contract, filed a protest, sending it to the GAO for a ruling. The agency ruled in Cigna's favor Sept. 28 and Palmetto filed an unsuccessful protest in October.