[StBernard] LRA Health Care Committee Receives Midterm Progress Report from Redesign Collaborative

Westley Annis westley at da-parish.com
Wed Aug 30 21:59:30 EDT 2006

LRA Health Care Committee Receives Midterm Progress Report from Redesign Collaborative

Medical homes, electronic medical records top agenda in advance of meeting with HHS Secretary

BATON ROUGE, La. (August 30, 2006) - The Louisiana Recovery Authority's (LRA) Health Care Committee received a midterm progress report from the Louisiana Health Care Redesign Collaborative today, including an update on the establishment of medical homes around the state. The cutting-edge concept would provide citizens with a medical home in their neighborhood or community, supported by specialists with access to diagnostic, therapeutic and tertiary care services.

The centers would provide:

* Preventive and primary care services, including behavioral health
* Electronic medical records
* Patient tracking
* Patient education
* Care planning and coordination
* Emergency preparedness planning

"The medical home philosophy will play a critical role in promoting access to the right type of care, at the right time, for every Louisiana citizen," said LRA Board Member Donna Fraiche. "This is an exciting concept that we look forward to making a reality as we rebuild our health care system."

In another move toward providing equitable, high-quality care, the Committee received an update on the implementation of health information technology as the foundation for the reengineered delivery system. Plans include a conversion to electronic health records, computerized physician order entry, e-prescribing, telemedicine, tele-monitoring and patient information portals.

"Providing our doctors with access to electronic health records puts us one step closer to a safer, stronger, smarter Louisiana," said LRA Board Member and Healthcare Committee Chair Kim Boyle. "With innovations like those we discussed today, the rest of the country will soon look to us as the standard for modern healthcare."

Detailed recommendations on both concepts will be presented to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Michael Leavitt on September 15, 2006.

In other action, the Committee received an update from leaders of several damaged parishes on the progress of health care system recovery across the state, and committed to partnering with the group in attempting to identify strategies for addressing remaining needs in restoring essential services.

The LRA Committee also requested that Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH) Secretary Fred Cerise lead the development of a proposal to use Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) to provide workforce training for the healthcare sector. The programs will be designed to speed the education and training of medical personnel at all levels of the health care delivery system to serve in hospitals, community clinics, nursing homes, and the home care environment.

The group also reemphasized the importance of integrating the collaborative's efforts into the New Orleans unified planning process and the regional planning process. All agreed that the collaborative's work must be aligned with the redesign and physical rebuilding of local communities.

"Redesign of our health care delivery system must begin with a new footprint. We must weave accessible primary care into the fabric of our remodeled neighborhoods, cities and parishes, and we cannot miss the immediate opportunity to make that a part of community plans statewide," said Fraiche.

Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco, Secretary Leavitt, Secretary Cerise, the LRA and other public and private hospitals, doctors and health care providers established the Louisiana Health Care Redesign Collaborative in July 2006. The coalition has a mission to develop, and oversee the implementation of, a practical blueprint for an evidence-based, quality driven, patient-centered health care system for Louisiana. This blueprint, which will serve as a guide for health care policy in Louisiana and for the recovery and rebuilding of health care in the hurricane-affected areas of the state, is scheduled to be delivered to Secretary Leavitt in October 2006.

Hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastated South Louisiana, destroying more than 200,000 homes and 18,000 businesses. The Louisiana Recovery Authority (LRA) is the planning and coordinating body that was created in the aftermath of these storms by Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco to lead one of the most extensive rebuilding efforts in the world. The LRA is a 33-member body which is coordinating across jurisdictions, supporting community recovery and resurgence, ensuring integrity and effectiveness, and planning for the recovery and rebuilding of Louisiana.


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