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.
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.
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.
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.