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Friday, April 18, 2014
Southwest Louisiana ,
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One company submits proposal for Medicaid contract

Last Modified: Wednesday, September 25, 2013 10:08 AM

BATON ROUGE (AP) — The Jindal administration says one company submitted a proposal to help the state decide what kind of system it needs for Medicaid claims processing and eligibility determination for the more than $7 billion government health insurance program for the poor.

The Advocate reports (http://bit.ly/1fC2Inb) First Data is in negotiations with state health agency officials for what is described as "staff augmentation." A decision on the contract award is expected to be reached by Oct. 17. No price has been determined.

Ruth Johnson, a special adviser for the State Division of Administration, said she was "shocked to hear" that only one firm sought the work. But, she added, "Right now across the country ... everybody's got a project of some type going on." Johnson said a lot of work is associated with preparations for implementation of the federal Affordable Care Act.

First Data is described as a global claims processing company.

The outside professional help is being sought as the Jindal administration prepares to seek a replacement for its fired Medicaid claims processor Client Network Services Inc. CNSI lost a nearly $200 million contract earlier this year because of alleged improprieties. The company is suing the state for wrongful contract termination.

Health Secretary Bruce Greenstein, a former CNSI executive, resigned as news broke of a federal investigation into the contract award.

A state grand jury probe also is underway.

If First Data gets the "staff augmentation" contract, the firm will also provide input on another system that verifies a person's eligibility when they seek Medicaid coverage.

The hope is the two systems can be integrated to achieve savings, Johnson said.

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