State News

La.'s new Medicaid managed care program begins

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Posted: Feb 1, 2012 2:13 PM
Source: Associated Press

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Topics: Medicaid, Program, Louisiana, Begins

BATON ROUGE, La. - Louisiana's Medicaid program is starting to provide health care through private managed care networks in nine parishes around New Orleans, the first step in a sweeping revamp of the program that provides care to the poor.

The insurance-based model, called Bayou Health, launched Wednesday in southeast Louisiana.

The roll-out of the changes hasn't been without startup problems, including an overloaded call center and low participation from enrollees in choosing their own health plans.

Only about a quarter of those shifted to the new insurance model chose how they will get that care.

The state health department had to assign 73 percent to their new health plans because they didn't select their own.

Nearly 246,000 Medicaid recipients, mostly children, are being switched to the managed care networks in this first phase.

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