NEW INVESTIGATION REVEALS EVIDENCE OF WIDESPREAD FAILURE AND ABUSE
March 12, 2022
The Communications Workers of America (CWA) and the Student Borrower Protection Center (SBPC) released the results of an investigation into the world’s largest student loan company, uncovering new evidence of systemic mismanagement, failure, and abuse. The subject of this investigation, Maximus Federal Services (Maximus), recently replaced scandal-plagued student loan giant Navient Corporation as a principal student loan contractor for the U.S. Department of Education and also operates under the name Aidvantage. The company directly manages student debt held by nearly 13 million borrowers and indirectly serves millions of others, many of whom struggle to make ends meet.
In response to the new, shocking report, which offers evidence of misleading and sloppy conduct by the company, CWA and SBPC launched AidvantageWatch—a new project to ensure fair treatment for millions of people with student debt whose loans are now managed by Aidvantage.
MAXIMUS LOSES MEDICAID CONTRACT AFTER "CONTINUED FAILURE" IN KANSAS
October 16, 2020
Kansas announced that it will not renew its KanCare Clearinghouse contract with MAXIMUS to help administer the state’s Medicaid program. MAXIMUS’ term as the Clearinghouse contractor was marred by serious performance problems that led to substantial backlogs and some nursing homes halting acceptance of Medicaid-pending seniors.
In its recommendation not to award the Clearinghouse contract to MAXIMUS, Kansas' state health agency noted “MAXIMUS’ continued failure to meet the base contract’s SLAs [service level agreements].”
Kansas legislators on both sides of the political aisle joined advocates for the disabled and nursing homes in welcoming the news of KDHE severing its ties with MAXIMUS as the Clearinghouse administrator. Local media also applauded KDHE’s decision to boot MAXIMUS as the Clearinghouse administrator. “[P]oor service from those contracting with the state shouldn’t be tolerated,” stated the editorial board of The Hutchinson News, and called the decision to replace MAXIMUS “long overdue.”
MAXIMUS Opposes transparency proposal
March 16, 2020
MAXIMUS shareholders will be voting on a proposal at its 2020 annual shareholder meeting that would increase transparency of the company’s lobbying activities. The proposal would require MAXIMUS to prepare an annual report disclosing its lobbying policies and procedures, its payments for direct and indirect lobbying, and its membership in and payments to tax-exempt organizations that write and endorse model legislation.
Instead of embracing transparency, MAXIMUS has chosen to oppose the proposal. This is in spite of widespread support for lobbying disclosure and a growing number of companies moving to adopt such policies.
Robust transparency is especially merited for companies like MAXIMUS that conduct significant lobbying of federal, state, and local governments, and that also rely on government contracts for nearly all of their revenue. Such lobbying by a government contractor has created suspicions of “pay-to-play” practices at MAXIMUS.
NEW BRIEF: MAXIMUS EXTRACTS EXCESSIVE PROFITS FROM STATE CONTRACTS
Feb. 23, 2020
MAXIMUS’ large profit margins on its state contracting business and recent executive comments raise questions about whether the company is reaping unfairly high profits from state agencies. MAXIMUS reported profit margins of 18.6% on its state and local contracting business for the first quarter of FY2020, more than double its 8.6% margin on its federal government contracts in the same quarter.
The eyebrow-raising profit margins on state contracts in the first quarter of 2020 are the continuation of an ongoing trend. MAXIMUS’ margins on its state contracts have been consistently and significantly higher than on its federal government contracts.
Such outsized profit margins on state contracts raise questions about whether states are adequately negotiating with MAXIMUS to ensure that taxpayer dollars intended for health and human services are being spent responsibly. Every extra dollar that goes to boost MAXIMUS profits is one less dollar invested in improving the quality and availability of critical services.
NEW DATABASE OF MAXIMUS CONTRACTS
Type Investigations and Mother Jones launched a new online searchable database of MAXIMUS state contracts to facilitate public understanding of MAXIMUS’ state contracts. The new database can help public officials, journalists, and citizens better understand and oversee MAXIMUS’ state business.
The news organizations also released a tipsheet for how to use contract documents and other resources to identify potential problems with contracts for the administration of safety net programs outsourced to companies like MAXIMUS.
The tipsheet provides step-by-step instructions to ferret out performance failures and badly designed contracts that overcharge public agencies. The tipsheet also outlines how companies like MAXIMUS can seek to profit off policies and contracts that may actually harm vulnerable Americans that our safety net programs were intended to help.
NEW REPORT ON MAXIMUS' MEDICAID FAILURES
Nov. 11, 2019
As the leading provider of Medicaid administration services, millions of Americans rely on MAXIMUS for access to critical health services. But the company’s track record is increasingly under scrutiny from state leaders over performance failures and harm to beneficiaries.
“Maximum Harm: MAXIMUS’ Medicaid Management Failures”—a new report by GCAP—documents significant problems with MAXIMUS’ performance on Medicaid contracts in nine states and the District of Columbia and points the way forward for better oversight.
The report shows that problems at MAXIMUS have impeded vulnerable Americans from accessing health services they desperately needed. MAXIMUS has also been implicated in Medicaid fraud and performance failures that affected health care provider payments and the security of health system information.
MAXIMUS' BOTCHED KANSAS MEDICAID PERFORMANCE LEADS TO CALLS FOR INSOURCING
Kansas awarded MAXIMUS a contract to operate the KanCare Clearinghouse when the state privatized its Medicaid eligibility services. MAXIMUS underbid and understaffed the contract, and failed to adequately train staff, leading to poor performance that resulted in harms to Medicaid applicants and enrollees, particularly seniors and eldercare providers.
The Kansas City Star published an op-ed from public interest organization In the Public Interest (ITPI) in August 2019 calling on Kansas to cut its ties with MAXIMUS. According to ITPI, insourcing the Kansas Medicaid eligibility work performed by MAXIMUS could save taxpayers money while improving service quality for Kansans and lifting labor standards—including pay and benefits—for frontline Medicaid workers.
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Consumers Take Issue with Aidvantage’s Management of Federal Student Loans (Washington Post, 3/11/22)
ACA Call Center Workers Can Barely Afford Their Own Health Care Coverage: Report
(Fox Business. 11/2/21)
In a Rare Bipartisan Move, PA Legislators Decry Planned Change in Medicaid Gatekeeper
(Philadelphia Inquirer, 8/27/21)
Florida's Governor Says Contact Tracing Didn't Work but State Won't Say How Badly It Failed
(WTSP-10 Tampa Bay, 3/31/21)
Editorial: Kansas Right to Move on from Maximus
(The Morning News, 10/9/20)
Kansas Replaces Troubled Medicaid Contractor Notorious for Backlogs, Lost Documents
(Kansas City Star, 10/5/20)
Meet the Company Reaping Big Bucks from NY's Budget-Busting Medicaid Surge
(The City, 2/24/20)
MAXIMUS Employees Say Company Lowballs Wages with Errant Classifications
(Topeka Capital-Journal, 2/6/20)
A Distinctly American Irony
(New York Magazine, 2/3/20)
This Is What Happens When You Let a For-Profit Company Run Public Benefits
(Mother Jones, 12/16/19)
Bogalusa’s call workers issue a complaint through NLRB
(NY Amsterdam News, 12/5/19)
Op-Ed: Kansas should cut ties with KanCare call center contractor (Kansas City Star, 9/18/19)
'It was just terrible': After years of Kansas Medicaid complaints, change is coming (Kansas City Star, 7/24/19)
At least 220,000 Tennessee kids faced loss of health insurance due to lacking paperwork (The Tennessean, 7/14/19)
Medicare call center woes persist with MAXIMUS taking charge (Bloomberg Law, 3/11/19)
How One Company Is Making Millions Off Trump's War on the Poor (Mother Jones, January 2019)
Editorial: MAXIMUS money move was wrong call (Topeka Capital-Journal, 8/27/18)
Kansas tells Medicaid contractor: Shape up, or face millions in fines (Wichita Eagle, 2/16/18)
Medicaid application delays are forcing Kansas nursing homes to turn people away (Kansas City Star, 12/15/17)