The federal government says Louisiana public hospitals were overpaid by hundreds of millions of dollars.
"Louisiana received a $362 million debt collection notice Tuesday from Washington health care officials, but state officials say they're planning to appeal the move," The Associated Press/Forbes reports. "The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services formally notified Louisiana that its state-run charity hospitals were overpaid federal health care dollars in the mid-1990s for care provided to uninsured patients. Now, CMS wants Louisiana to repay the money."
State officials knew about the overpayment and have been negotiating with the federal government about the size of repayment. The letter from CMS explains that the state has a year and a half to pay back the funds. "In total, the federal government alleges Louisiana was overpaid about $800 million in the Medicaid program more than a decade ago, including the $362 million in Tuesday's notification. Not all the overpayments are tied to the public hospitals" (Deslatte, 9/16).