LDH supports six recommendations from an expert panel to combat the opioid epidemic
Posted on 12/4/2018 3:35:00 AM.

The Louisiana Health Department supports six recommendations from an expert panel in the fight against the opioid epidemic, much of which assistant State Health Officer, Dr. Joseph Kanter, says is common sense solutions. Kanter says the state needs to expand access to effective treatment and must look into other means to treat chronic pain.
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LDH, Opioid Epidemic, Medicaid, drugs

Overdose deaths on the rise in Louisiana
Posted on 12/3/2018 5:35:00 AM.

New CDC data indicates drug overdose deaths rose 12% in Louisiana from 2016 to 2017. Overdose deaths have contributed to the life expectancy rate declining for three straight years in the United States, a pattern not seen in 100 years. President and CEO of Trust for America’s Health, John Auerbach said this marks the first time that more than 1,000 people died in a single year from overdoses in Louisiana.
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Prescription Medicine, Overdose, Medicaid, Opioids

Medicaid unveils new, automated online system
Posted on 11/15/2018 12:38:00 PM.

The state Medicaid Office has a new enrollment and verification system online today that provides instant feedback on whether or not you’re eligible. That’s for people who apply for the healthcare program online. Louisiana Medicaid Director Jen Steele says it should cut down on wait times for applicants.
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Medicaid, eligibility, healthcare, Louisiana, 2018, Jen Steele

Medicaid may have spent 85-million in healthcare costs for ineligible recipients
Posted on 11/13/2018 5:39:00 PM.

Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera says the state's Medicaid program potentially paid 85-million dollars in medical costs for people who may not have been eligible for benefits. Medicaid previously only checked wage eligibility every 12 months, and Purpera says that led to over payments relative to other states who check eligibility more frequently.
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medicaid, legislative auditor, Daryl Purpera, Jen Steele, LDH, healthcare, Louisiana, 2018

Edwards: Rising incomes responsible for surplus
Posted on 9/26/2018 2:56:00 AM.

Governor John Bel Edwards says the state’s surging income levels are a substantial part of the expected 300 million dollar surplus for the last budget year. A report showed Louisiana paced most of the nation in income growth at 5.9 percent in the 2nd quarter, good for second in country. Edwards says income gains are propelling the unexpected revenue.
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income, wages, growth, John Bel Edwards, economy, Louisiana, 2018, Medicaid

Final budget plan clears the legislature; session comes to an end without major cuts
Posted on 6/25/2018 5:29:00 AM.

A budget deal is on its way to the governor’s desk that fully funds higher ed, healthcare, and TOPS, and sets the state’s sales tax rate at 4.45% on July 1st through July 2025. The bill raises 466 million dollars for next fiscal year. Mandeville Senator and Republican Jack Donahue, the bill’s cosponsor, says it’s the compromise the legislature needed to get done.
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fiscal cliff, Louisiana, special session, 2018, TOPS, Medicaid, JP Morrell, Jack Donahue, Sharon Hewitt

Governor Edwards signs legislation aimed to reduce prescription drug prices
Posted on 5/31/2018 2:00:00 PM.

The governor is signing legislation by New Iberia Senator Fred Mills that’s aimed at pushing down drug prices by requiring prescription benefit plans (that prescription card in your wallet) inform consumers when they get rebates from drug manufactures. Mills says before, your drug plan could hide those rebates and pocket money that should have been going back to you. 
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Governor John Bel Edwards, prescription drugs, Medicaid

State leaders spar over the Governor's decision to mail program cancellation letters
Posted on 5/15/2018 10:58:00 AM.
The Edwards administration and GOP legislators continue to exchange barbs over the decision to mail cancellation warnings to 37,000 Medicaid patients. Lafayette Republican Nancy Landry blamed the Medicaid budget cuts on John Bel Edwards.
Medicaid, State Budget Cuts, Nancy Laundry, Governor John Bel Edwards

Republican legislators respond to Medicaid warning letters over potential state cuts
Posted on 5/9/2018 3:23:00 PM.

37,000 letters are being mailed out to recipients of four Medicaid programs that reads “Because of possible budget cuts, these programs may end as of July 1, 2018.” 20,000 of those recipients are nursing home residents who could be thrown out as a result. Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne says after multiple failed attempts to fund the programs, people need to start preparing for the worst.

"We don't want to be doing this, obviously. We've waited for as long as we possible could but we feel that it's appropriate and necessary to forewarn these recipients of what may be coming," Dardenne said.
 
But many Republicans balk at the released letters.
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Jay Dardenne, John Bel Edwards, Medicaid, Dodie Horton, budget cuts Danny Martiny

37,000 warning letters to disabled & elderly Medicaid recipients of possible elimination
Posted on 5/9/2018 2:46:00 PM.

The state will send out letters tomorrow to 37,000 elderly and disabled people, warning them the Medicaid programs which pay for their care could be eliminated on July 1st. It’s possible that legislators will approve funding to avoid the cut, but Louisiana Health Secretary Doctor Rebekah Gee (pictured center) didn’t want to take that chance.

“It would be unfair, in the wake of all of the inaction, to wait any longer. We need people to have a chance to see what other options they have and what they will need to do to make plans,” Gee said.
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Medicaid, state budget cuts, disabled & elderly recipients, Jay Dardenne

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