privatization

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.

Handshakes, hugs and thank yous marked the Oct. 1 handover of LSU Hospitals in Shreveport and Monroe to the Biomedical Research Foundation of Northwest Louisiana or BRF. Under a privatization deal pushed by the Jindal administration, BRF now manages the hospitals with 3,200 employees. BRF president Dr. John George told an overflow crowd in the Biomedical Research Institute Atrium Tuesday that it’s a new day for these north Louisiana hospitals to control their own destiny.

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.

The Civil Service Commission has narrowly agreed to a Jindal administration plan to hire a private company to manage a state employee health insurance plan.

The panel voted 3-2 Wednesday to allow Blue Cross/Blue Shield to run an insurance plan in the Office of Group Benefits that covers more than 62,000 employees and their dependents. The outsourcing will take effect Jan. 1.

The move will eliminate 177 state jobs — 121 of which are currently filled.