Baton Rouge – The Louisiana Department of Health today announced it is publishing licensing rules creating a new type of facility in Louisiana that will offer a new option for services to Louisiana’s medically fragile children and their families.

Pediatric Day Health Care Facilities will provide parents of medically-fragile children and young adults under the age of 21 with an integrated setting in which to treat, and even educate, their children. Due to a variety of factors, medically-fragile children are in stable condition but require assistance, such as help with medications, treatment, or medical equipment, for daily living. These new facilities will provide children with an important opportunity to receive their nursing care and therapy, socialize with other children, and further their educational opportunities all under one roof.

LDH Secretary Alan Levine said Pediatric Day Health Care Facilities will provide parents with an important therapeutic and developmental opportunity for their kids in a safe and caring environment.

“This is an innovative approach which has proven effective in other states, and has gained momentum here in Louisiana as more people have learned about them. They provide what is truly a win-win situation for Louisiana families – high quality care for our kids and doing so at what will be a lower cost.  By integrating and coordinating the services provided in these facilities, we will reduce costs not only for Medicaid but also for private insurers.”

This new facility type will be licensed and regulated to ensure the best environment possible for Louisiana’s medically fragile children, and was created with the input of physicians and other stakeholders to ensure the highest quality result. Working hand and hand with families at each facility at all times will be a registered nurse, and each facility will have both a Director of Nursing and a Medical Director. Other direct care staff available at the facilities to help provide the best possible care for our medically fragile children will include nursing assistants, certified nursing assistants, patient care technicians, medical assistants, Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT), on-site therapists, and individuals with training and experience in education, social services or child care related fields.

While Medicaid will reimburse the facilities for the services they provide, the facilities present a much more cost-effective way of providing services.  Rather than families having to scramble their schedules to provide various types of therapy in individual homes, and doing so at the highest cost, the new facilities will provide a one-stop opportunity for day health services which can be more integrated with all the various services a child needs.

Additionally, Pediatric Day Health Care Facilities will be required to play a role in the local emergency management plan for any parish they operate in. They must be capable of providing self-sustaining generator power, and can be used as a shelter of last resort for children who are technology dependent, such as those on ventilators. Families should have their own personal plans in case of disaster, and can work with their providers to develop their plans.

The authority to create the Pediatric Day Health Care Facilities was provided by the Louisiana Legislature. The Department intends to publish the licensure rules for Pediatric Day Health Care Facilities as a Notice of Intent in the September 2009 Louisiana Register, and anticipates the Final Rule to be implemented by the end of the year.

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 citizens. To learn more about LDH, visit