health care

The window is fast closing on the open enrollment period to buy health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. The deadline to purchase insurance through the federal Healthcare Marketplace is Monday, March 31.

WWNO's Diane Mack spoke with Doug Wilkinson, state coordinator with the Louisiana Healthcare Education Coalition, LHEC, about the approaching deadline.

Federal site to sign up and purchase healthcare coverage — www.healthcare.gov

It’s been nearly a year since the state started implementing public-private partnerships for the LSU Hospital System, formerly known as Louisiana’s Charity Hospitals. The plan was pushed as a cost-saver for the state. How is it working out? Good for some and not so good for others—with patients and hospital caregivers caught in the middle.

Jason Saul / WWNO

A giant inflatable colon took over a conference room at West Jefferson Medical Center on Monday, the centerpiece of the hospital’s annual Colon Health Fair — an event dedicated to providing information on the risks and causes of, and treatments for, colon cancer.

Kelly McDermott, a GI/Endoscopy nurse at West Jeff for 27 years, guided me through the mockup, which detailed the various stages of a healthy colon’s progression into full-blown cancer.

Researchers at Tulane University have found a three-fold increase in heart attacks six years after Hurricane Katrina. The findings link stress from the storm and several other factors to the increase.

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.

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