BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) – Senate health committee chairman Fred Mills said Louisiana’s health department should press harder to correct problems found by auditors who say the agency does a poor job overseeing billions in Medicaid payments.

Mills, a St. Martin Parish Republican, was dissatisfied with the way the department responded to the audit. He wrote Health Secretary Rebekah Gee seeking more details about how her agency will correct shortcomings identified by the legislative auditor’s office.

The audit said the department isn’t properly tracking health providers billing Medicaid managed care organizations for services. The report said that makes it impossible to know if Medicaid is paying for things it shouldn’t be.

Gee replied Thursday her agency is working on system upgrades and has increased penalties for managed care companies that don’t have accurate provider information.

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Senator Mills wants action after critical Medicaid audit