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Trillium Quietly Withdraws Lawsuit

Centene-owned Trillium Community Health Plan, long active in Lane County, also serves low-income Oregon Health Plan members in Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties. | CHRISTIAN WIHTOL/THE LUND REPORT
February 4, 2020

Trillium Community Health Plan has abandoned its lawsuit against three large providers in the Portland area. 

The move in December came a month after Trillium backed down from asking for an injunction against Legacy Health, Providence Health & Services and a top official at Oregon Health & Science University, accusing them of blocking its Medicaid bid in the Portland area.

It’s not clear whether Trillium simply figured it would lose its case and dropped the suit or is in talks with the three hospital groups. Trillium needs them to build a Medicaid provider network in the tri-county area. The Oregon Health Authority awarded Trillium a five-year Medicaid contract in the metro region that was supposed to go into effect Jan. 1. But the authority postponed it after Trillium failed to sign up any hospitals in the Portland area.

It needs to build a viable provider network to operate as a Medicaid insurer in Multnomah, Clackamas and Washington counties, a $1.5 billion-a-year Medicaid market with 320,000 members.

Health Share of Oregon, a nonprofit, has enjoyed a monopoly in the area. Trillium is owned by Centene Corp., a Fortune 500 company based in Missouri.

Trillium has also had trouble in Lane County where it used to be the sole Medicaid provider. The Lund Report learned that it is laying off dozens of people amid new competition from PacificSource Community Solutions, which was awarded a contract in Lane County for the first time starting Jan. 1. The state assigned about 50,000 members to PacificSource for 2020, leaving Trillium with just 40,000. That more than cut Trillium’s expected Lane County revenues in half.

You can reach Lynne Terry at [email protected] or on Twitter @LynnePDX.