DHH: Community care essential to new Medicaid program

DHH: Community care essential to new Medicaid program
Thursday, September 29, 2011 - 12:51pm

Health professionals from across the state are in Baton Rouge Thursday learning the ropes of the state's new Medicaid program.

Department of Health and Hospitals Secretary Bruce Greenstien explained the details of the plan at the Louisiana Primary Care Association’s 28th annual continuing education conference downtown.

A “coordinated care network” with private insurance companies will take the place of the current fee-for-service system early next year. Secretary Greenstien says a key to it's success is getting patients out of the ER and into community based clinics for non emergency and chronic care.

There has been some opposition to the swap and to Medicaid reform in general. But Secretary Greenstein says the state’s current system is set up to fail.

"If we pay fee for service, we get a lot of volume. When we don't look for quality, we don’t achieve the quality that we want to pay for. When we don’t pay for results, performance or outcomes, we don’t get it," says Greenstien.

Greenstien is encouraging more family health centers to set up shop in Louisiana.

There are 82 family health centers run by non-profits in the state. They receive Federal grants in addition to insurance and Medicaid/ Medicare payments. Those centers treat medical and mental illnesses all under one roof, regardless of a patient's ability to pay.

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