Aug. 9, 2016 10:08 AM

Sen. Fred Mills
Senate Health and Welfare Chairman Fred Mills said he and his committee are pushing state officials to make a decision soon on how to move forward with Louisiana’s massive Medicaid processing contract.

“We want a decision by September, not something at the last minute in December,” said Mills, R-Parks.

Right now Molina Information Systems has a $46 million contract to process the invoices for Medicaid patients. It’s how participating doctors, hospitals and other providers get paid.

The contract ends on Dec. 31 and was last extended for one year in December of 2015. At the time, lawmakers on the health and welfare committees complained that it was unfair to ask them to make such a costly decision just a couple of weeks before a contract expired.

The state had hired the Maryland-based CNSI to take over the job, but former Gov. Bobby Jindal canceled that contract due to various concerns. CNSI’s wrongful termination lawsuit was settled recently for an undisclosed amount.

With the state overseeing its Medicaid expansion, and the processing arm likely to grow in size, Mills said this should be a top priority for the Louisiana Department of Health.

“This is a pretty big fiscal issue,” said Mills. “We need to act on this quickly.”