State cuts deal with feds to reduce money owed from Jindal’s hospital dispute

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Louisiana owes far less to the federal government than what was originally expected, but that price tag is still well over $5 million.

The money is tied to debt accrued by former Gov. Bobby Jindal for the privatization of nine charity hospitals.

In 2014, Louisiana was ordered to repay the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services a total of $190 million. That's because the agency rejected the initial deals stating that they were improper.

A settlement was reached Thursday by Gov. John Bel Edwards. The state still owes $5.4 million.

"This settlement to correct the prior administration's mistake is being done with minimal impact to the State of Louisiana. The Department of Health has agreed to adjust the amount of money it will draw down from the federal government by $5.4 million in the next quarter," said Gov. Edwards. "Additionally, the state will make minor amendments to lease agreements in the future adjusting by approximately $1.1 million annually. All parties agree this will resolve any issues related to the fair market value leases related to the public private partnerships."

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