health care

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.

Last month the Obama Administration pushed back the employee mandate under the Affordable Care Act by one year. Employers with 50 or more full-time workers now have until 2015 to either provide their workers with health insurance or face a penalty.

In states that are expanding Medicaid as part of the the new health law’s roll-out, businesses have more flexibility in deciding how to make sure their workers are covered. And though Louisiana is not participating, proponents of expanding Medicaid in the state see the delay of the employer mandate as a chance to rally some small business support.

More than a thousand people are expected to get free medical care today from a non-profit setting up at the Convention Center. It was moved up earlier than usual this year because of the Essence Festival.

More than a thousand people without health insurance are expected to attend a free one-day clinic in New Orleans next week. It’s the fourth visit to the city by a national nonprofit since Hurricane Katrina.

A new report finds that Louisiana has the second worst dentist shortage in the nation. Because of this, many residents are not getting adequate dental care, especially children and people who live in rural areas.

The Pew Charitable Trusts examined the lack of access to dental care nationwide. The findings revealed a scarcity of dentists who participate in Medicaid. In Louisiana, the report comes as the state Department of Health and Hospitals is slashing reimbursement rates paid to dentists through the Medicaid program with the July 1start of the new fiscal year.

The head of a nonprofit advocacy group that promotes health research said Louisiana stands to lose millions of dollars in medical research funding due to the across-the-board federal spending cuts known as the sequester. Mary Woolley, president of the Alexandria, Va.-based Research!America, said the National Institutes of Health distributes billions of dollars to universities and research institutions – and the grants are getting scarcer and more competitive.

The Senate signed off on a measure yesterday that aims to restore funding to health care.

Sounds good right?

The opposition, including twenty-plus-year member of the legislature Senator Robert Adley, was quick to point out that approving the measure may back lawmakers into a corner with the budget.

Facility planning officials say the construction of University Medical Center in New Orleans is on time and on budget.

Christus Health will close its Christus Schumpert St. Mary's Place medical complex in Shreveport and consolidate many services into its Highland Medical Center in Shreveport. CEO Stephen Wright announced at a news conference Monday that the cost cutting move will eliminate 200 jobs over the next two years, trimming its workforce by about 10 percent. Wright said the Sutton Children’s Medical Center, which has been running a $10 million annual deficit in recent years, will also close.

The Multi-Transplant Institute Team at the Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans was recognized as Number One in the U.S. for the year 2012 by CareChex, based on mortality and complication rates.
Dr. Nigel Girgrah, Liver Transplant Director, says Ochsner's Living Donor Program helps prevent deaths of patients on the waiting list by reducing wait times.