Letter to Dr. Gee: Need sufficient funding to provide Medicaid care
October 5, 2018
Rebekah E. Gee, M.D., M.P.H.
Louisiana Department of Health
P. O. Box 629
Baton Rouge, LA 70821-0629
Dear Dr. Gee,
Thank you for taking the time to meet with members of Orleans and Jefferson Parish Medical Society on September 13th at the LCMC Health Conference Center. Those in attendance certainly appreciated the opportunity to learn more about the state of ‘Healthcare In Louisiana’ and the challenges faced by the Medicaid program and Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals.
Your presentation opened eyes and raised concerns. We are especially grateful for the time you took to take and answer questions from the audience. As you know, physicians in the Greater New Orleans Area and throughout Louisiana are frustrated with low Medicaid reimbursement that does not cover our cost. At this time, Medicaid reimbursement for providers in Louisiana only covers 80 percent of cost – making it extremely difficult for physician practices to pay monthly bills, buy supplies and make payroll. As a result, many of us have had to lay off good employees and strip cost to the bone. This undo stress contributes to physician burnout, compromised healthcare and forced retirement for healthcare providers who can no longer meet the needs of their employees and their patients.
Dr. Gee, the members of Orleans and Jefferson Parish Medical Societies are dedicated to improving healthcare throughout Louisiana for all citizens. In your next budget proposal to the Legislature, please include sufficient funding to cover the real cost of providing care to Medicaid patients.
George S. Ellis, Jr., M.D.
Orleans Parish Medical Society