State announces health cuts from Medicaid loss
BATON ROUGE - LSU's system of public and charity hospitals and clinics face the deepest cuts in Louisiana's plans on how to deal with the loss of $859 million in federal Medicaid funding.
The system will lose $316.5 million in funding, the bulk of the $523 million in cuts announced today by Secretary Bruce Greenstein. He said while they aren't calling for closures of any charity hospitals, a "different" LSU Health System would have to emerge from the process.
The system previously said it couldn't take any more deept cuts without resorting to closing facilities.
Greenstein said the Department of Health and Hospitals will also make the following changes:
- Reduce Medicaid payment claims for inpatient and outpatient services by 3.7 percent, starting August 1.
- Also starting August 1, 5 percent reduction in emergency medical transportation provider rates for Medicaid patients.
- Close eight Vital Records Service Centers across the state.
- Close Southeast Louisiana State Hospital in Mandeville and move its beds to three other locations.
- Stop plans to add 10 new slots to the State Personal Assistance Program, and delay the phase-in of 350 of the new Community Choice Waiver slots. These provide services in the home and in the community to elders or adults with disabilities who qualify.
- Remove families from the Flexible Family Funds program, which provides stipends to families of children with disabilities for expenses related to the child's disability, if they make more than 650 percent of the federal poverty level.
- Handle certain administration needs in-house rather than contracting to an outside source.
- 321 total layoffs across state health programs and agencies.
The federal funding loss was part of a highway transportation bill recently passed by Congress.
News 2's Mike Steele will have more from Greenstein's announcement and how these changes will affect the state's health care tonight at 5 and 6.