(Adds company comments on investigation, details)
LOS ANGELES Jan 25 The board of WellCare
Health Plans Inc (WCG.N), which is under investigation by
federal and state authorities, named Charles Berg as executive
chairman and Heath Schiesser as president and chief executive
officer on Friday, effective immediately.
Todd Farha, the company's former chairman, president and
chief executive officer, said earlier in the day that he was
resigning in order to pursue other entrepreneurial interests.
The resignation comes nearly three months after more than
200 federal and state agents raided the managed-care provider's
headquarters in Tampa, Florida.
WellCare said on Friday that it believes the investigations
are focused mainly on the relationships of the company's
Florida health plans with its behavioral health subsidiary,
Harmony Behavioral Health, including their calculation of a
refund to the Florida Medicaid agency.
The company also said it believes investigators are looking
into relationships among its various health plans and other
wholly owned subsidiaries.
WellCare said it has not been advised of the full scope of
the government's investigation and does not know whether the
probes may expand to other areas or lead to fines, penalties,
operating restrictions or changes to the company's historical
In addition, the company said it has received requests for
information from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
and is responding to subpoenas issued by the Connecticut
Attorney General's Office involving transactions between the
company and its affiliates involving their potential impact on
the costs of that state's Medicaid program.
Berg is a former CEO of Oxford Health Plans, while
Schiesser previously served as WellCare's senior vice president
for marketing and sales.
(Reporting by Deena Beasley; Editing by Gary Hill)