Jeff Roberson / AP

The Justice Department is looking into the medical coding practices of the Medicare plans sold by Centene, the health insurer disclosed in a new annual regulatory filing.

The agency issued a civil investigative demand on Dec. 15, and the demand is related to the "risk adjustment claims" associated with Medicare Advantage and Part D prescription drug plans at Health Net, a company Centene bought last year for $6 billion. Centene said it is complying with the Justice Department's request and "will vigorously defend any lawsuits."

The context and importance: The filing doesn't say exactly what the Justice Department is looking for in those claims, but Centene admitted the probe likely stems from the unsealed whistleblower lawsuit against UnitedHealth Group, which alleges that UnitedHealth inflated its own risk adjustment claims and helped other companies do the same through its consulting firm. An investigation by the Center for Public Integrity found evidence that other health insurers have exaggerated how sick their Medicare members are as a way to get more money.

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Louisville police declare state of emergency as Breonna Taylor decision looms

A demonstrator holds up a sign of Breonna Taylor during a protest in Louisville, Kentucky. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

The Louisville police chief declared in a memo obtained by news outlets a "state of emergency" for the department on Monday to prepare for Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron's expected announcement on the Breonna Taylor case.

Of note: Louisville has witnessed more than 115 days of protests over the police killing of Taylor, an unarmed Black woman, with calls for all the officers involved to be charged.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 31,1833,800 — Total deaths: 962,793— Total recoveries: 21,348,410Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 6,833,800 — Total deaths: 199,818 — Total recoveries: 2,615,949 — Total tests: 95,841,281Map.
  3. Health: CDC says it mistakenly published guidance about COVID-19 spreading through air.
  4. Media: Conservative blogger who spread COVID-19 misinformation worked for Fauci's agency.
  5. Politics: House Democrats file legislation to fund government through Dec. 11.
  6. World: U.K. upgrades COVID alert level as Europe sees worrying rise in infections — "The Wake-Up Call" warns the West about the consequences of mishandling a pandemic.

Sen. Cory Gardner on vacant Supreme Court seat: "I will vote to confirm"

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) will vote to confirm President Trump's nominee to replace the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg, he announced in a statement Monday.

Why it matters: The development is a win for President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). It should mean Republicans are all but assured to have enough support to hold hearings for Trump's potential nominee.

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