Providing care to the uninsured in Louisiana will be the main topic of discussion at the third quarterly meeting of the Governor’s Health Care Reform Panel. The meeting will take place on Thursday, Dec. 16 at the New Orleans Marriott Hotel, 555 Canal St., New Orleans.

Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco will be present to address the participants at the meeting, which begins at 8:00 a.m.  Registration begins at 7:30 a.m.

An initial draft report “Long-Term Care Plan for Immediate Action – Providing Choices for the Elderly and People with Disabilities,” which was the focus of September’s meeting, will be presented to the full panel and other participants early in the day.

Diane Rowland will present a profile of the uninsured in Louisiana, including current state efforts to address the uninsured.  Four national experts on the uninsured will also speak at the meeting.

The national experts are:

Dr. Ken Thorpe -- Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University
Dr. Eric Baumgartner -- Louisiana Public Health Institute
Theresa Sachs -- corporate manager, E P & P Consulting
Dr. Jim Mongan-- president and CEO, Partners HealthCare System, Inc.
This meeting is a working meeting of the panel, but is free and open to the public.  Pre-registration is not required. Anyone who attends the meeting will have an opportunity to provide written comments and/or questions on the issue of providing care for the uninsured to the panel for consideration.

All details of the meeting and a copy of the minutes will be posted on the Health Care Reform Panel section of the Department of Health Web site upon completion. For more information, please visit that site at