HHS Secretary Leavitt Visits Louisiana to Discuss Redesign of Health Care System
HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt met with a number of groups today to discuss models of plans to meet the goals outlined by the Louisiana Health Care Redesign Collaborative. The models were created using data provided by the state, and based on meetings held with members of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals.
Secretary Leavitt met with Fred Cerise of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, members of the Louisiana legislature, Louisiana State University board members, Mayor Ray Nagin and business and health care leaders. During his meetings, he outlined three models, encouraged reform and reminded people that these were decisions Louisianans have to make.
"This is a historic moment to build a new, patient-centered system in Louisiana. Affordable, accessible insurance coverage is possible," Secretary Leavitt said. "HHS has been and continues to be a major contributor to the recovery of Louisiana's health care system providing over $1 billion in federal resources. If presented with a demonstration proposal that captures the principles we agreed to, I would instruct my staff to work with the State to ensure approval. Our goal is better health, at lower cost for all the people of this state."
The Louisiana Health Care Redesign Collaborative agreed to adhere to guiding principles in their planning efforts. One of the goals of redesign was to get rid of a system that was among the most expensive and least effective in the nation, and to provide accessible care for all Louisianans. In October, the Collaborative presented HHS with a concept paper, outlining its vision for a reformed system. Since then, HHS has worked with representatives from the state to create a proposal that could be presented to HHS as a Medicaid demonstration waiver. Secretary Leavitt has promised to approve a waiver, as long as it adheres to the originally agreed to principles. One of the models presented today could be used as a basis for a waiver.
HHS' Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services experts presented the models to the state in detail. They have the capability of running additional models, if the state would like to see them.
Note: All HHS press releases, fact sheets and other press materials are available at http://www.hhs.gov/news.
Last revised: March 20, 2007