Louisiana News

Stories and interviews from across the state.

Audit: $718K Spent In Louisiana On Dead Medicaid Patients

Dec 4, 2017
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A new audit says the Louisiana Department of Health improperly paid $718,000 over four years for Medicaid patients who were no longer receiving services because they had died.

Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera's office released a report Monday that says the department spent the money between July 2013 and August 2017 for 712 deceased Medicaid patients. 

Most of the improper spending involved payments made to managed-care companies that oversee services for most of Louisiana's Medicaid patients.

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There are reports Smoothie King is looking at moving its corporate headquarters from Metairie to Texas. A five-year deal between Louisiana and the fruit drink maker expires at the end of the year. Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Don Pierson has spoken with Smoothie King.

Pierson says if they are planning on leaving the state, it would leave about 60 employees out of work.

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A new addiction treatment center is opening on the Northshore.  The ten-million-dollar Longbranch Recovery Center will open around the first of the year in Abita Springs.  Longbranch Healthcare CEO Chris McMahon, sober for 17 years, says he wants to do his part in helping those who need it the most.

McMahon says there is a huge need for addiction treatment in Louisiana.  It has been found that treating the symptoms of addiction is more successful for the patient.

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Both the U.S. House and Senate have approved separate tax reform bills and will now come together in a committee to iron out the differences. U.S. Representative Clay Higgins of St. Landry Parish says the economy will sky rocket once they pass a bill that cuts corporate and personal income taxes.

Once the committee agrees on a tax reform plan, the House and Senate will have to pass it. Higgins says he’s confident the president will sign the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act before the end of the year. He says the U.S. hasn’t seen this type of economic stimulation in decades.

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First place in the NFC South is on the line Sunday afternoon in the Mercedes Benz Superdome as the Saints host the Carolina Panthers. Both teams are 8-3. New Orleans is coming off a loss that ended their eight-game winning streak. Quarterback Drew Brees says they are seeking to play their best game of the season.

Atlanta is just one game back of the Panthers and Saints in the division standings. After Sunday’s game against Carolina, the Black and Gold will play the Falcons twice in a three week period. Brees is excited to see how his team handles the next month.

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Former New Orleans Congressman William Jefferson is expected to remain free today following his new sentencing hearing. Jefferson was released from prison last month after serving more than five years of a 13-year sentence. Loyola University law professor Dane Ciolino says federal prosecutors do not want to retry Jefferson after 7 counts of his conviction were tossed out.

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If you were affected by the August 2016 floods and feel you should’ve received more flood insurance money or uncovered additional damages, you have until December 31st to submit a proof of loss. State Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon says the deadline was recently extended again to give victims a chance to get more.

Donelon says for help filing an appeal for more money from the flood insurance program, consumers can call 1-800-259-5300. He also suggests working with your insurance company.

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Will holiday company parties be a bit more laid back this year, because of the heightened awareness of sexual harassment? A national conversation is underway about office misconduct in the wake of allegations against many high profile celebrities. UNO Business Professor Dr. Mark Rosa says it’s a hypersensitive issue.

Flood Insurance Program To Expire

Dec 1, 2017
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The National Flood Insurance Program, which provides flood insurance for thousands of Louisiana residents expires next Friday on December 8th.  U.S. Senator John Kennedy is hopeful Congress can renew the N-F-I-P without raising premiums, so flood insurance becomes unaffordable.

The program was 24-billion-dollars in debt before Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria and Nate struck the U.S. this year.  Kennedy says being in the hole that much is unacceptable.

2017 Hurricane Season Officially Over

Nov 30, 2017
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The 2017 hurricane comes to an end today and it will go down as one of the most active seasons we have seen.  Hurricanes Nate and Tropical Storms Cindy and Harvey made landfall in Louisiana this year.  State Climatologist Barry Keim says overall, many records going back 167 years were tied.


Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria made huge impacts on the U.S. and Puerto Rico this year.  Keim says the U.S. mainland had escaped devastating impacts for quite a while.