Department of Health and Hospitals

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The state Department of Health and Hospitals is taking preliminary steps to further privatize Medicaid in Louisiana. In August, DHH released a concept paper about reforms to long-term care for the developmentally disabled and low-income elderly.

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Since 2009, Louisiana and seven other states have been using a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to make Medicaid more accessible to those who are eligible.

Louisiana Dept. of Health and Hospitals

At the close of the recent legislative session, Gov. Bobby Jindal vetoed additional funding to pay for services for the developmentally disabled.

Two weeks ago, an effort to override the veto failed.

The $3.9 million would have covered a partial year of comprehensive at-home disability services for an additional 200 people through what are called "New Opportunity Waivers".

St. Mary's Residential Training School

In Boyce, La., St. Mary’s Residential Training School offers both residential care and educational services for individuals with developmental disabilities.

This concludes our two-part series on the state’s goal to wind down the number of individuals living in places like St. Mary’s.


WRKF

Louisiana's efforts to move more individuals with developmental disabilities out of congregate living and back into the home with supports actually started pretty late compared to the rest of the country.

In the 1980s when other states were beginning to shut down their large, state-run facilities as part of the national de-institutionalization movement, Louisiana was still building. Only in 2005, after Hurricane Katrina forced the shutdown of the New Orleans metropolitan facility did the state start ramping up its de-institutionalizing efforts.

This is the first of a two-part series exploring the progress of that effort over the years since.

A new report by the state Department of Health and Hospitals shows Louisiana could save millions of dollars over the next decade by expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration has been instructed to stay quiet about the specifics of the cancelation of a nearly $200 million Medicaid contract.

That’s what State Inspector General Stephen Street told the House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday before a hearing on the Department of Health and Hospital’s budget for the next fiscal year got underway.

Officials from the Department of Health and Hospitals were grilled Tuesday morning by the Appropriations Committee on how they plan to save money in the next fiscal year.

Among other cost-saving measures, the department’s $8.9 billion proposed budget calls for turning over a number of existing Medicaid services to private entities, and investing more in the Bayou Health reforms. Savings also hinge on the privatization of the LSU charity hospitals, although no official agreements have been made yet.

Gov. Bobby Jindal’s proposed $24.7 billion state budget for the next fiscal year seemingly leaves the state Department of Health and Hospitals relatively unscathed.

Louisiana's worst year for West Nile virus in a decade continues into the fall season. On Friday the state Department of Health and Hospitals reported 12 new West Nile virus cases, and two more West Nile-related deaths.