health care

Healthcare Cuts
10:30 am
Tue August 14, 2012

Senator asks for legal opinion on hospital closure

The chairman of the Senate Finance Committee is asking for an attorney general's opinion about whether Gov. Bobby Jindal can close a state-run mental health facility in St. Tammany Parish without legislative approval.

Sen. Jack Donahue, a Republican from Mandeville, says closing Southeast Louisiana Hospital in a parish that has one of the state's highest suicide rates is unwise. He's pushing to keep the facility open.

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LSU Hospital
10:26 am
Tue August 14, 2012

LSU seeking hospital partners amid funding woes

The head of the LSU System, William Jenkins, says he's talking to private hospital leaders about ways to partner and keep the university-run hospitals open despite ongoing budget woes.

But he acknowledged Monday that with shrinking funding and large numbers of uninsured patients, LSU will have a lot of persuading to do.

Jenkins said LSU will need to bring in private health care facilities to operate some of the public hospitals, if all will be able to remain open.

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Health Care Fraud
1:54 pm
Thu August 2, 2012

Man pleads guilty in health care fraud case

Prosecutors say a Covington man has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud in connection with a scheme in which he and his wife bilked a sleep clinic out of more than $800,000.

U.S. Attorney Jim Letten's office said Thursday Boyd Leahy could face up to 10 years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines. He is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 1.

Boyd Leahy's guilty plea follows a guilty plea last week by his wife to one count of health care fraud.

Healthcare Privatization
1:38 pm
Thu August 2, 2012

Centers for developmentally disabled approved for privatization

Louisiana's health department has received approval to hire private companies to run state facilities in Hammond and Bossier City that care for the developmentally disabled.

The Civil Service Commission agreed to the plans Wednesday without objection.

Under the plans already backed by lawmakers, the state is turning over the operations of Northlake Supports and Services Center and Northwest Supports and Services Center to private contractors.

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Politics
12:39 pm
Tue July 31, 2012

Congressman asks Jindal to expand Louisiana Medicaid

A New Orleans congressman is asking Gov. Bobby Jindal to reconsider his position against expanding Louisiana's Medicaid program, as allowed under the federal health care overhaul.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond sent the Republican governor a letter Monday saying as many as 400,000 Louisiana residents would be eligible to get insurance under the Medicaid expansion.

Richmond says low-income families wouldn't have a viable plan for getting coverage without the expansion, which covers adults up to 133 percent of the poverty level.

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LSU Hospitals
6:08 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

Jindal says LSU hospitals will protect services despite cuts

Gov. Bobby Jindal says he's confident LSU's network of public hospitals and clinics will protect health care services, despite cuts that strip a quarter of the system's funding.

Lawmakers have said they don't understand how the university-run health care system can shrink its budget by $329 million this year without shutting facilities that take care of the poor and uninsured.

But Jindal on Tuesday told reporters that "LSU is well on their way to presenting a plan that's going to protect critical services."

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Healthcare Cuts
8:58 pm
Mon July 23, 2012

Lawmakers criticize few details in state health cuts

Louisiana lawmakers are bristling about getting few details and no ability to decide the $523 million in budget cuts Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration has made to health care programs.

Several complained the governor's staff wasn't explaining the gravity of the slashing and the implications on the LSU network of public hospitals and clinics that care for the poor and uninsured.

The cuts are tied to a drop in Louisiana's federal Medicaid funding that was passed in congressional legislation after the state's 2012-13 budget was already crafted.

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Southeast Louisiana Hospital
12:22 pm
Mon July 23, 2012

Mandeville psychiatric hospital prepares to close

Almost 60 years since it opened, the Southeast Louisiana Hospital — a psychiatric facility that gained national notoriety in 1959 when then-Gov. Earl Long was briefly committed there — is preparing to close down its daily operations.

The Times-Picayune reports that the hospital's closing is part of an $859 million cut to the state's federal Medicaid program.

The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals hopes to send all 176 beds occupied at the hospital to other public and private hospitals in the state.

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State Healthcare
12:43 pm
Sun July 22, 2012

Blue Cross wins contract to run state health plans

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana has been chosen by Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration to take over the job of managing a state employee health care plan.

The company was the lowest bidder, The Advocate reports offering to do the work cheaper than Humana and United Healthcare, beginning Jan. 31.

Latest News
7:15 pm
Thu July 19, 2012

LSU chief: No decisions on where to make cuts

LSU System President William Jenkins says decisions haven't been made about how to strip $329 million from the university's hospital system. He offered no assurances to lawmakers that hospitals and clinics wouldn't be faced with closure.

A leader of Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration warned Thursday that hospital cuts could be worse if state income estimates don't improve to fill the remaining gap in the Medicaid budget.

Health and Hospitals Secretary Bruce Greenstein told House members any additional cuts would "fall primarily on the LSU hospitals."

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