Louisiana’s governor is making a push toward a complete privatization of health-care programs, including those that span senior care within the state.
The state government, under the leadership of Gov. Bobby Jindal is hiring private help to manage senior care programs, according to a local report from The Advocate.
“Jindal’s administration has already transferred most of the state’s 1.4 million Medicaid recipients to six privately owned insurance companies,” the report states. “The administration also has moved people with behavioral health issues, such as mental distress and substance abuse, from state-run programs to care managed by a private company.”
A recent concept paper also outlined a care coordination plan for those in need of long term support and services including serving more people in their homes through the funds that are available currently.
The efforts aim to address care for roughly 70,000 people, for which care costs last year amounted to $2.4 billion in state spending.
Patients as well as communities such as nursing homes that care for those patients will be impacted, if they have not already been impacted by the shift toward managed care, according to the report. A request for proposal is under way and could be ready by early 2014, Department of Health and Hospitals Secretary Kathy Kliebert told the Advocate.
Developing a system for those groups is the most challenging privatization effort tackled because of the “complex population” involved, Kliebert said.
“We are talking a good year before we start any type of implementation,” Kliebert said. “It’s about getting people more services, more home and community-based services for those waiting for those services, rather than budget savings.”
Details have not been released, and the impact to senior care providers is unknown until more information is available, the director of a state nursing home association told the publication.
“Some state (nursing home) groups I’m talking to find it’s not a big issue because their concerns were heard,” Louisiana Nursing Home Association executive director Joe Donchess said. “Others are going through dramatic change.”
Written by Elizabeth Ecker