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Nevada awards $400M dental contract despite legal challenge

CARSON CITY — A two-year, $400 million deal to provide dental benefit administration services to Medicaid recipients was approved by a state board Tuesday despite a pending legal challenge to the award.

The contract with Liberty Dental Plan of Nevada was approved by the Board of Examiners, which includes Gov. Brian Sandoval, Attorney General Adam Laxalt and Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske.

The approval came despite a request to delay the contract by Delta Dental, which also had sought the work.

Attorney Paul Georgeson, representing Delta, said the award to Liberty will be challenged in court because of irregularities with the selection process used by the state.

Delta was selected in an initial request for proposals in early 2017. The state then decided to reformulate and reissue the request for proposals. Liberty was selected in the second review.

Sandoval said he was concerned that delaying the contract could affect the provision of dental services to Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program recipients in urban Clark and Washoe counties.

It could take two years for a legal resolution to the dispute, Sandoval said.

Contact Sean Whaley at swhaley@reviewjournal.com or 775-461-3820. Follow @seanw801 on Twitter.

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