Local Digest: AmeriHealth to take helm of D.C. health plan on May 1

April 5, 2013
THE REGION
THE DISTRICT
Health plan operator slated to start May 1

The District’s health-care finance department announced Friday that the AmeriHealth Mercy Family of Companies will assume operations of D.C. Chartered Health Plan on May 1. The plan, which serves low-income residents eligible for Medicaid and other government health programs, will do business as “AmeriHealth District of Columbia,” according to company spokeswoman Michelle Davidson.

AmeriHealth will inherit Chartered’s customer base of more than 100,000 District residents. It is expected to finish out Chartered’s contract with the city before the anticipated start of its own contract July 1.

The announcement marks the likely consummation of a $5 million transaction arranged by a government receiver, a deal that is “on track to close by the end of the month,” according to a statement from city insurance regulators. It also marks the likely end of the Chartered brand, which was established in the city in the 1990s then brought to prominence and, later, dominance after it was acquired by businessman Jeffrey E. Thompson in 2000.

Chartered’s fate has been intertwined with Thompson’s over the past 13 months, since he was first implicated in a federal investigation of campaign finance wrongdoing in the District.

— Mike DeBonis

Md. man is arrested in July sex assaults

D.C. police have arrested a Baltimore man and charged him with sexually assaulting two women a week apart in July in an underground parking garage near Gallery Place, authorities said.

Police said they think other attacks in the area might be connected, and they urge women who have been assaulted around Ninth and F streets NW to call the department’s main number, 202-727-9099, or the sex assault unit at 202-727-3700.

D.C. police said they arrested Russell C. Jones, 51, on Wednesday and charged him with two counts of misdemeanor sexual abuse.

The attacks occurred July 14 and July 22, one shortly after 1 a.m. and the other about 2:15 a.m., according to police. In each case, women said they were approached from behind, had their dresses lifted and were touched inappropriately.

Jones is a registered sex offender in Maryland.

— Peter Hermann

MARYLAND
Superintendent finalists withdraw

The last two finalists selected by the Prince George’s County Board of Education to become the new school superintendent withdrew from consideration on Friday.

Alvin L. Crawley, the county’s interim superintendent, and Harrison Peters, a schools chief in the Chicago Public School System, notified the board of their decision less than three weeks after they were introduced to the public as candidates.

The announcement comes as the Maryland General Assembly is poised to approve a bill that would allow County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D) the power to select the new schools superintendent for the 123,000-student system. Baker had indicated that he would reopen the search if the legislation passes.

The school board, which met in executive session on Friday, said in a statement that it understood the candidates’ decision in light of “the disruption that occurred” and the “uncertainty of the leadership of the school system in the coming months.”

— Ovetta Wiggins

Man killed in Pr. George’s crash ID’d

Police have identified the man killed after his car collided with the back of a flatbed truck in Riverdale Park on Wednesday as 88-year-old In Hwa Pak.

Pak, a Bladensburg resident, was headed south on Kenilworth Avenue near Good Luck Road when he collided with the truck, which itself had just picked up a disabled vehicle, authorities said. He was the only person hurt.

— Matt Zapotosky

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