Medicaid Expansion enrollment in Louisiana reaches 400,635 new members enrolled, and the most recent Gallup report shows the uninsured rate in Louisiana has decreased by nearly half to 12.5 percent in 2016, down from 21.7 percent in 2013. Gallup cites expansion as the key contributor for the reduction in the uninsured rate.
“Louisiana is ranked in the top 10 list of states with the largest reductions in uninsured rates,” said Governor John Bel Edwards. “The primary goal for Medicaid expansion was to ensure that more Louisiana residents had access to health care coverage and access to health care services. This report is conclusive proof that expansion is working.”
Medicaid expansion has reduced Louisiana’s number of uninsured residents, and has offered 400,635 newly covered adults the opportunity to seek care from a primary care physician instead of in an emergency room.
Statistics compiled by the Louisiana Department of Health show that more than 58,700 adults have now received at least one preventive or primary care service after getting coverage under expansion. The most recent data shows how newly enrolled members are benefitting from Medicaid coverage by accessing care and beginning treatment for chronic illness:
- 58,713 members have received preventive care visits with a care provider.
- 5,633 women have completed important screening and diagnostic breast imaging such as mammograms, MRIs and ultrasounds, and 67 women were diagnosed with breast cancer as a result of this imaging.
- 5,412 adults had colonoscopies, and 1,536 patients had precancerous polyps removed.
- Treatment has begun for 1,193 adults newly diagnosed with diabetes.
- 2,954 patients have been newly diagnosed with hypertension.
“We’re seeing a generational shift in health care for Louisiana residents,” said Dr. Rebekah Gee, secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health. “As more and more residents receive health care coverage and have access to regular and cost-effective primary care, fewer residents have to rely on expensive emergency rooms for their health needs. Medicaid expansion is creating better access to health care and saving taxpayer dollars at the same time.”
To track enrollment and preventive data, the Department of Health has developed a dashboard tool on its Healthy Louisiana website, http://ldh.la.gov/healthyladashboard/. The dashboard shows total enrollment, enrollment by parish, by age and gender, and lives impacted by expansion and access to health care.
One hospital executive recently noted access to preventive care has improved. “In the seven months since the expansion, North Oaks has seen a 60 percent increase in mammograms and a 61 percent increase in bone density screenings for Medicaid patients, a 26 percent increase in cervical cancer screenings, a 20 percent increase in A1C screenings for diabetes and an 18 percent increase in cholesterol screenings. These are all real people, with real needs, who have had their lives changed for the better,” said Michele Kidd Sutton, FACHE, President/Chief Executive Officer of North Oaks Health System.
The Louisiana Department of Health strives to protect and promote health statewide and to ensure access to medical, preventive and rehabilitative services for all state residents. To learn more about LDH, visit www.ldh.la.gov. For up-to-date health information, news and emergency updates, follow LDH's Twitter account and Facebook.