Louisiana Department of Insurance Hosts Annual Health Care Conference
The Louisiana Department of Insurance hosted its 15th Health Care Conference Tuesday, April 10, in Baton Rouge. The conference attendants were welcomed by Commissioner of Insurance Jim Donelon and Louisiana Health Care Commission Chairwoman Donna D. Fraiche.
Commissioner Donelon told attendees that while the property and casualty insurance market has been his primary focus in the years following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, his focus for the next four years will center on the reform of the national health delivery system. “Looking forward to the 2014 effective date of several major components of PPACA (the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act), serious decisions must be made at the state level as this federal health care law goes into effect,” Donelon told the crowd of approximately 600 attendees. “PPACA contains many assignments for the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) which has utilized commissioners with expertise in health care to address those mandates,” Donelon added. Commissioner Donelon is also president-elect of the NAIC.
Guest speakers included state and national health policy experts who presented information on current health care topics including: Congressman Bill Cassidy of Baton Rouge, who gave a federal health care update and discussed Congress’s efforts to improve Medicare; Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals Secretary Bruce Greenstein, who gave an update on Louisiana’s newly redesigned Medicaid Program; David W. Donnell with the law firm Adams and Reese, who discussed Louisiana’s rate review process; Dr. Loren C. Scott, who gave the keynote address; and NAIC Health Policy and Legislation Manager Brian Webb, and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Senior Advisor Teresa Miller, who gave updates on federal health care reform.
The conference also included a panel discussion on Louisiana’s private health insurance market and how it will be impacted by PPACA. Panelists included Rhonda Roark Bagby, Humana-Louisiana Commercial Market President; Glen Golemi, CEO of UnitedHealthcare – Gulf States Region; J.R. Pegues, CEO of Coventry Health Care of Louisiana and Coventry Health and Life Insurance Company (Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee); and Mike Reitz, President and CEO of BlueCross BlueShield of Louisiana.
Commissioner Donelon closed the conference by saying, “There is a whole lot at risk (with the implementation of PPACA). I encourage individuals to reach out to their legislators and Congressional representatives with their own opinions and advice, and to remember that elections have consequences.” Video from the conference will soon be posted on the LDI website at www.ldi.la.gov.