health care

If you are among the thousands of uninsured residents in the metro area, here's a heads up: the deadline to sign up for health insurance and receive coverage this year under the Affordable Care Act is fast approaching.

Susan Todd, executive director of 504HealthNet, which provides support to a network of healthcare providers in the greater New Orleans area, has tips on how to navigate the Health Insurance Marketplace and info on why you should sign up sooner rather than later.

Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration has enacted new rules for Louisiana's abortion clinics that abortion rights supporters say will make it nearly impossible for the state's five clinics to stay open.

When it enacted the regulations, the Department of Health and Hospitals said they were designed to comply with new laws and to clarify licensing requirements.

But the rules go beyond new restrictions enacted by legislators.

A recent report by the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana concludes that with the privatization of the charity hospital system, Louisiana’s safety net is being reinvented. 

The reinvention will likely come up again in the legislature when it convenes in March as lawmakers dig up debate on Medicaid expansion under Obamacare. And the candidates for governor will be staking out positions on healthcare reform.


Most of LSU's charity hospitals and clinics have been turned over to private managers. But federal officials still haven't decided whether they'll agree to the financing plans that are being used to pay the new hospital operators.

Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration expresses confidence that the deals will eventually gain approval from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS. The administration says that these types of complex arrangements take time.

CMS isn't talking about how far apart the two sides are in negotiating final terms.

Enrollment in health insurance plans through the federal marketplace has swelled, with more than 17,500 people in Louisiana signed up for coverage by December.

Federal health officials released updated enrollment figures Monday, along with details of who is getting the government-subsidized private insurance created under President Barack Obama's health revamp.

In Louisiana, more women have signed up than men, and one-third of those getting insurance are in the older, costlier age ranges of 55 to 64 years old.

A day care for medically-fragile infants and children is set to open in Bossier City. Lauve’s Pediatric Day Health Care will be the first one in northwest Louisiana.

A Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals spokesman said there are now 12 facilities in the state, mostly concentrated in south Louisiana. Bossier City owner Crystal Lauve said her center will be staffed with nurses who care for children under 21 with medical needs, like tracheotomies, IV therapy, and suctioning care.

Mallory Falk

Monday marks the first deadline to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. Throughout the country, health care navigators are helping people with the enrollment process. In New Orleans, they're working hard to reach as many people as possible, spending time outside shopping malls, corner stores... even the airport.

flickr/Erix!

This week's edition of Louisiana Eats! investigates health care in the restaurant industry from an insider's point of view. We'll hear about life in the kitchen and the toll it takes on the workers who prepare our food.

After Charity Hospital in New Orleans closed in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, community clinics filled the gap in care for the poor and uninsured.

Feist-Weiller Cancer Center is starting a loaner hearing aid program for terminally ill cancer patients. All donated hearing aids will be loaned out to the patients who need them during the remaining months of their life. LSU Health Shreveport clinical audiologist Jessica Bever has fielded requests for spare hearing aids from physicians. Unused hearing aids are all around, according to Bever. It’s a matter of collecting them and creating a lending program.

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