FILE - Louisiana State Capitol

The Louisiana State Capitol in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Louisiana legislators approved a $47.8 million contract extension without putting the work out to bid.

It was the sixth time the contract had been extended for one year, Department of Health officials said.

DXC Technology provides the state’s Medicaid Management Information System, handling tasks such as provider enrollment and claims processing. Federal regulators are requiring states to move away from a single company providing all such services, and state officials are in the early stages of breaking up those tasks into smaller contracts, said Jen Steele, who directs the state’s Medicaid program.

The first contract award is nine months behind schedule because of a protest by a losing bidder, she said. Officials expect the existing MMIS contract will need to be extended again.

“I guess we’ll be doing this drill for many years,” state Sen. Fred Mills, R-New Iberia, said.

Members of a joint state House and Senate committee unanimously approved the contract Monday.

The contract is unrelated to the controversial contract awards for Medicaid managed care organizations, which are being challenged by two losing bidders. Those will be discussed Friday at a joint budget meeting.

Staff Reporter

David Jacobs is a Baton Rouge-based award-winning journalist who has written about government, politics, business and culture in Louisiana for almost 15 years. He joined The Center Square in 2018.