Louisiana to redesign health care system

The state of Louisiana has unveiled a new public-private collaborative that will redesign its health care system in response to the impact of Hurricane Katrina. The collaborative hopes to fund its efforts through a proposed large-scale Medicaid waiver and Medicare demonstration program.

Called the Louisiana Health Care Redesign Collaborative, it plans to submit its proposal to the federal government by October, focusing initially on the greater New Orleans area. Its charter outlines guiding principles and its goal of a health care system that offers high-quality, accessible, patient-centered care, delivered by ambulatory and community-based centers. John Matessino, president and CEO of the Louisiana Hospital Association and a collaborative member, called the effort "a wonderful opportunity to change some of the ways things have been done" in the state. He said the group is particularly eager to target New Orleans' soaring rates of uninsured residents and to find them medical homes.