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Louisiana's Medicaid expansion program has helped create or support nearly 19,200 jobs across the state and $178 million in state and local taxes.

That's according to an economic analysis done by three LSU professors hired by the state health department to look at the program during the 2016-17 budget year.

The study determined that the infusion of $1.8 billion in federal spending on health care through the Medicaid expansion had a $3.5 billion economic impact in Louisiana.

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Governor John Bel Edwards and state Health Secretary Dr. Rebekah Gee unveiled a report on the economic impact of Medicaid expansion. Edwards says according to the LSU report, Louisiana is saving 317-million dollars in state money and providing medical care to those who can’t afford it.


Edwards says, "From a public health perspective, we're saving lives in Louisiana, and we're ensuring that our workforce is healthy and ready to fill the jobs that we're creating all through the state."


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A report from America’s Health Ranking says the rates of maternal mortality and teen suicide have risen over the last two years in Louisiana. UnitedHealthcare Chief Medical Officer Dr. Mark Peters says we are one of the worst states when it comes to taking care of expecting mothers.


Peters says, "We don't have as many mothers getting prenatal care." According to Peters, this is why Louisiana's statistics aren't as good as other states. 


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Medicaid reform legislation was pulled from consideration in the House Health and Welfare Committee before it could be voted on, maintaining the special session’s current run of inaction. The bill would have implemented work requirements for Medicaid recipients. Opelousas Democrat Dustin Miller says the bill was mean spirited and wasteful.


Miller says the proposal was similar to Kentucky’s Medicaid reform that is currently estimated to cost that state roughly 300 million dollars to implement.


Road Travel America / /

Republican House Speaker Taylor Barras provides Governor John Bel Edwards with budget cutting proposals as part of the negotiations to solve a nearly billion dollar shortfall. House Republican delegation chairman Lance Harris says in an effort to reduce health care spending, so they would like to see work requirements for certain people who receive Medicaid.

The "Dreamers" are here. It is estimated 800,000 young alien residents are living in the United States. The Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programs passed under President Obama had given a temporary reprieve to deportation for children and young adults who were brought to the country illegally by their parents.  Attorney General Jeff Sessions has announced the program will end in March. 

Congressman Ralph Abraham thinks the Congress will address the issue in the coming weeks but doesn't want DACA tied to a compromise on the U.S. - Mexican border wall. 

Audit: $718K Spent In Louisiana On Dead Medicaid Patients

Dec 4, 2017
Ano Lobb / /

A new audit says the Louisiana Department of Health improperly paid $718,000 over four years for Medicaid patients who were no longer receiving services because they had died.

Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera's office released a report Monday that says the department spent the money between July 2013 and August 2017 for 712 deceased Medicaid patients. 

Most of the improper spending involved payments made to managed-care companies that oversee services for most of Louisiana's Medicaid patients.

Eric Hunsaker / /

Louisiana health officials are skeptical the state could save sizable sums of money by reworking the way it runs the prescription drug program for Medicaid patients.

State Medicaid Director Jen Steele and Jeff Reynolds, the health department's chief financial officer, responded to questions Tuesday from a legislatively created study group.

Steele said the method Louisiana uses to pay for Medicaid prescription drugs is an industry standard and administrative costs are capped.

Court Tie Means Louisiana Planned Parenthood Keeps Funding

Nov 29, 2017
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A tie vote among 14 federal appeals court judges in New Orleans allows Planned Parenthood facilities in Louisiana to keep receiving Medicaid funding.

The money in question goes to health services other than abortion for low-income women. However, abortion opponents have opposed any government funding for the organization.

In 2015, a federal judge blocked a move by then-Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration to cut off the funding. A three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals later upheld that block.

The state sought a rehearing.

Audit: Nursing Home Payments Up, But Not Patient Numbers

Nov 20, 2017
Ulrich Joho / /

A new audit says Louisiana's payments to private nursing homes for taking care of Medicaid patients have risen substantially over the last decade. But while the facilities are pocketing ever-higher dollars from the state, their occupancy rates stayed largely flat.

Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera's office said Louisiana uses payment structures that are out of step with other states, driving up costs on the nursing homes and long-term rehabilitation facilities.