BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana's legislative auditor is questioning $47 million in Medicaid payments for mental health services, saying they didn't follow the health department's fee schedule.

The health department disagrees with Monday's report from Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera, saying the payments complied with the law and were allowed.

It was the latest report from Purpera's office digging into Louisiana's more than $13 billion Medicaid program.

Auditors reviewed claims for mental health services paid by private Medicaid managed care companies from December 2015 through June 2019. They identified hundreds of thousands that exceeded the fee schedule or didn't meet its coding requirements.

The Department of Health says federal law allows states to deviate from the fee schedule so patients have access to adequate care, particularly in rural areas and for providers in short supply.

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