Appeals challenge scrapping of Louisiana Medicaid contracts

State News

FILE – In this Aug. 13, 2019 file photo, Louisiana Health Secretary Rebekah Gee answers questions from the joint House and Senate budget committee about new contract awards for the Medicaid managed care program in Baton Rouge, La. Gee, who launched the Democrat’s Medicaid expansion program but faced repeated criticism from Republicans about her management of it, is leaving the Edwards administration as the governor begins his second term in office. Gee, a medical doctor who has led the Department of Health since 2016, is resigning from the position effective Jan. 31, the governor’s office announced Monday, Jan. 6, 2020. (AP Photo/Melinda Deslatte, File)

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) – (1/25/20) Louisiana’s health department and four insurance companies chosen for $21 billion in Medicaid deals are challenging a decision to rescind the contract awards.

The Department of Health and the private companies filed their appeals late Friday.

They’re arguing Louisiana’s state procurement officer Paula Tregre didn’t follow the law when she decided to throw out the three-year contract awards.

Lawyers for the health department say Tregre made “multiple factual and legal errors” in her decision, and they argue that she took too long to decide.

At issue are multibillion-dollar Medicaid contracts awarded by Gov. John Bel Edwards’ administration to companies that will oversee care for about 90% of Louisiana’s Medicaid enrollees, about 1.5 million people.

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