The FBI executed a search warrant at the national headquarters of WellCare Health Plans in Tampa, Fla., accompanied by agents of HHS inspector generals office and the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit of the Florida attorney generals office.
About 200 federal and state agents, some of them armed, swarmed the offices this morning and told people working in the billing department to go home, WTVT-TV reported, citing interviews with employees.
Steve Cole, a spokesman for the U.S. attorneys office in Tampa, declined to describe the nature of the investigation.
WellCare issued a statement saying, We are cooperating with the authorities and essential services are operational and will remain uninterrupted.
WellCare is the largest managed-care provider in Floridas Medicaid program and serves more than 350,000 beneficiaries, according to the states Agency for Health Care Administration. We will continue to monitor this situation closely and respond appropriately, AHCA Secretary Andrew Agwunobi said in a written statement.
The company serves more than 2.3 million members nationwide, according to its Web site. Trading of WellCare shares on the New York Stock Exchange was halted. -- by Gregg Blesch
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