Louisiana Academy of Family Physicians Joins the Coalition to Protect Louisiana’s Healthcare

November 23, 2010

Baton Rouge, La. – The Louisiana Academy of Family Physicians (LAFP) has joined the Coalition to Protect Louisiana’s Healthcare. LAFP is one of the state’s largest primary care organizations, with more than 1,500 member physicians, residents and medical students throughout Louisiana.

“Family physicians have always been committed to providing healthcare for all, regardless of payor status,” said LAFP President Dr. Alan LeBato. “The LAFP has deep concerns about the changes to the Community Care Program and is opposed to the current proposal of Coordinated Care Networks. We want to make sure Louisiana residents, especially those covered by Medicaid, have access to a primary care physician and preventative care. By eliminating the adult population from this program, patients will have less access to a medical home and health care costs will only increase because patients will seek care in emergency rooms more often.”

“We appreciate the opportunity to work with the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals and encourage open dialogue between DHH and the provider community to reform the Medicaid health care delivery system,” explains Ragan LeBlanc, LAFP executive vice president/director. “The LAFP supports the coalition’s efforts to develop a plan that will improve the delivery of health care services, provide more
affordable care and ensure better access. We are proud to be a member of the Coalition to Protect Louisiana’s Healthcare. Working through the Coalition, we can develop a ‘Louisiana model’ of health care that provides cost effective, patient-centered care to patients.”

In October, the Louisiana Ambulance Alliance, Louisiana Hospital Association, Louisiana State Medical Society, MedicineLouisiana and the Metropolitan Hospital Council of New Orleans formed the Coalition to Protect Louisiana’s Healthcare with the mission to protect healthcare services for the state’s most vulnerable patients. This month, the Louisiana Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Louisiana Academy of Family Physicians joined the Coalition. Representing tens of thousands of direct caregivers and healthcare employees throughout Louisiana, the Coalition is deeply concerned about the recent and future cuts to Medicaid and DHHs’ original proposal for Coordinated Care Networks, which was developed too quickly and without input from the healthcare provider community, the legislature or other stakeholders.

On Nov. 5, the Coalition released recommendations for short, medium and long-term budget relief so that healthcare providers can continue to provide access to quality care to Medicaid patients. Specifically, the Coalition recommended using the extended Federal Medical Assistance Percentage, also known as FMAP, this state fiscal year to maximize enhanced federal matching funds; accelerating the use of financial mechanisms, such as the Upper Payment Limit program and Certified Public Expenditures; and exploring alternative funding sources currently being utilized and expanded in other states. The Coalition is also actively working on an alternative model of patient-centered, coordinated care for consideration by DHH and the legislature that will not only put the patient first, but will also lead to cost-savings for the state.

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