Today, Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) Secretary Courtney N. Phillips released the Department’s first business plan in almost a decade, titled Together: Building a Stronger LDH and a Healthier Louisiana for state fiscal year (FY) 2022. The new business plan identifies and details 17 initiatives and 42 goals under four major commitments.

“Congratulations to Secretary Phillips and the LDH team for the tremendous undertaking they have accomplished with the release of this bold and visionary business plan. More than a year of meticulous research and planning went into Together: Building a Stronger LDH and a Healthier Louisiana. I am proud to put my full support behind this business plan and its many efforts that go hand in hand with my Strategic Plan,” said Gov. John Bel Edwards. “Louisianans have a lot to look forward to in terms of improved and expanded health services as the Department of Health works to bring this plan to life.”

“I am honored to finally share Together: Building a Stronger LDH and a Healthier Louisiana. The initiatives, goals and deliverables in this ambitious plan focus on key areas that Team LDH will embrace and prioritize in the coming year to help strengthen our foundations, allowing us to make the greatest impact for the people we serve,” said Secretary Phillips. “But I am even prouder to say that establishing these initiatives is only the beginning. We look forward to what lies ahead with anticipation.”

The 17 initiatives are aimed at improving the health and well-being of Louisianans with an emphasis on prevention; reshaping the #TeamLDH work culture; and enhancing customer service, partnerships and community relations, while being transparent, accountable and compliant with state and federal regulations. The commitments and initiatives include:

Improve the Health and Well-being of Louisianans with an Emphasis on Prevention

LDH is committed to its mission of protecting and promoting the health of all residents of Louisiana, which includes physical, mental, and environmental health. Through the administration of health programs and other direct service programs across the Department, LDH provides access to healthcare services for millions of Louisianans. 

Our focus will be on ensuring that residents receive the right care at the right time and the right place. This business plan commitment includes LDH-led initiatives that will:

  • Assess Dental Coverage and Services for Adult Medicaid Enrollees to Improve Health Outcomes
  • Improve Access to Substance Use Disorder Treatment and the Quality of Care
  • Improve Care for Individuals with Serious Mental Illness
  • Improve Early Detection of Colorectal Cancer and Treatment of High Blood Pressure and Diabetes
  • Improve Health Outcomes from Pregnancy through Childhood
  • Increase and Strengthen Service Delivery for Vulnerable Residents

Reshape #TeamLDH Culture

Like any company or organization, LDH’s performance depends on the strength and health of its workforce. In FY22, LDH will focus on recruiting, developing and retaining high-performing team members. Our work in this area will also concentrate on making LDH a workplace that is more inclusive, equitable and responsive to team members’ needs. This business plan commitment includes LDH-led initiatives that will:

  • Advance Equity, Diversity and Inclusion within LDH
  • Improve #TeamLDH Culture, Recruitment, and Retention

Enhance Customer Service, Partnerships, and Community Relations

To improve health outcomes and operate effectively, LDH must be in close communication and partnership with the individuals we serve. Advancing the health of Louisiana is a complex endeavor — the health issues themselves are innumerable, they have disproportionate impacts on vulnerable and minority populations, and they are influenced by the physical, social and economic settings in which our residents live. Meaningful community engagement enables better understanding of communities’ needs and aspirations, allowing LDH to better solve health problems and empower residents with health information. 

This business plan commitment includes LDH-led initiatives that will:

  • Forge New Strategic Partnerships with Public Universities
  • Improve the Sustainability of Public Water Systems 
  • Leverage Community Partnerships to Improve Participation in LDH Programs and Improve Program Design
  • Pilot a Workforce Development Program
  • Support Efforts to Increase Diversity in the State’s Healthcare Workforce 

Promote Transparency, Accountability, and Compliance

LDH strives to be the best steward of public resources possible. With increased transparency, the public and stakeholders will have greater confidence that LDH is operating efficiently, effectively and with accountability to all applicable laws and regulations. This business plan commitment includes LDH-led initiatives that will:

  • Develop and Implement an Annual Comprehensive Medicaid Provider Rate Review Process
  • Develop Sustainable, Equitable, and Comprehensive Supplemental Payment Systems
  • Improve LDH Compliance with State, Federal, and Agency Requirements 
  • Increase Accountability and Transparency Through Medicaid Managed Care Organization (MCO) Contract

Messages from stakeholders

“A healthy Louisiana is a strong Louisiana — giving us a robust workforce and residents abundant with creativity, entrepreneurship and the resilience to overcome any challenge that comes our way. LDH has taken upon itself a monumental task with the development of its business plan, and the seeds it has planted will require careful nurturing to bring to fruition. I am heartened by LDH’s vision for the future of healthcare and eager to see its results at the end of Fiscal Year 2022.”
— State Representative Larry Bagley, District 7


“In my role as Chair of the Louisiana Commission on Perinatal Care and Prevention of Infant Mortality, I have been involved in much of the very meaningful work that the Louisiana Department of Health is doing to prevent maternal and infant deaths. The LDH business plan is a great way to bring visibility of these efforts to the public eye and hold us accountable to the body of work that will improve the health and wellbeing of women and children in our state.”
— Perry Scott Barrilleaux, MD, perinatologist and Chair of the Louisiana Commission on Perinatal Care and Prevention of Infant Mortality

“The underserved communities of our state stand to benefit greatly from the LDH business plan, a meticulously crafted roadmap for improvements to Louisiana healthcare through the end of June 2022. Setting targeted, intentional goals will help us move the health and well-being of our citizens forward, thus helping to build stronger communities which lead to a healthier state. I am so pleased to see LDH make maternal and child health a priority, including steps toward safer pregnancies and births, increasing the number of mothers breastfeeding their infants, and boosting the prevention services of developmental screening, immunizations, oral health, and Adverse Childhood Experiences. I look forward to supporting LDH in its efforts.”
— State Senator Regina Barrow, District 15

"I have been a longtime advocate for improving how we handle payments for our Medicaid program, and the business plan's commitment to promote transparency and accountability contains much-needed enhancements. Medicaid is Louisiana's largest budget item, and the business plan embraces the need for us to manage this program's precious resources responsibly and in a way that delivers the most high-quality service to program beneficiaries."
— State Senator Gerald Boudreaux, District 24

“Analysts play a vital role at LDH, and the high turnover rate for these jobs can have significant impacts. Having worked as an analyst early in my career, I understand how important it is to have skilled, knowledgeable and trained staff to help navigate the eligibility and enrollment process. I look forward to partnering with LDH for the launch of the Workforce Development Training Program. Building a strong, statewide team of analysts will benefit the agency as well as applicants and enrollees. In addition, the aim to employ people who receive Medicaid benefits in a percentage of these positions will add uniquely experienced analysts to assist others in need of healthcare coverage.”
Byron Decoteau: Director, Louisiana Civil Service

“Providing comprehensive dental services for adults 21 years and older with intellectual/developmental disabilities through the Developmental Disabilities Medicaid Waiver Program will help individuals to maintain good oral health and prevent serious health issues while providing medical care cost savings for the State. We are pleased that these services will include behavioral supports for individuals who have aversions to probing in their mouth or the inability to cooperate throughout a dental exam and cleaning, easing the worries that may be associated with dental visits.”
— Kathy Dwyer, Chair of the Louisiana Office for Citizens with Developmental Disabilities State Advisory Committee and Louisiana Dental Task Force for Adults with Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities

 “I'm in full support of the Louisiana Department of Health's efforts to improve maternal health outcomes and to care for women and children before, during and after a safe, dignified birth. This plan lays out an ambitious set of improvements, including an effort to allow for postpartum Medicaid coverage for 12 months after birth. I know this extended coverage and the improvements in the plan lead to safer birth and quality postpartum care for all Louisiana women.”
— State Representative Mandie Landry, District 91

"Two of the CPA's key priorities for ensuring the long-term stability of disability services in Louisiana are building a robust direct support professional workforce and ensuring that Medicaid provider reimbursement rates are adequate and equitable. We are pleased to see these priorities in LDH’s business plan, and look forward to working with LDH on both of these critical issues.”
— Caroline Meehan, Executive Director of the Community Provider Association

 “The LDH business plan truly touches every resident of our great state. Whether it’s substance abuse treatment, improving early detection and treatment of colorectal cancer, building upon the services we extend to our vulnerable residents, improving our public water systems, or increasing accountability and transparency for Medicaid managed care organization contracts, every single Louisianan can only benefit. I look forward to working with the Department of Health on the implementation of this progressive plan.”
— State Senator Fred Mills Jr., District 22

“The Arc of Louisiana is excited to see the Department working to improve health outcomes for adults with intellectual/disabilities waivers, by ensuring they have access to comprehensive dental services.”
— Kelly Monroe, Executive Director of The Arc of Louisiana

“AARP Louisiana is committed to pursuing solutions with the Louisiana Department of Health that address the financing of Long Term Supports and Services (LTSS), prioritizing person and family-centered care, ensuring consumer choice, guaranteeing timely access to comprehensive LTSS, ensuring safe and high-quality delivery in all settings, and protecting the rights of the consumer. These principles benefit 477,000 AARP members and 680,000 family caregivers statewide. We are looking forward to continued collaboration with the Louisiana Department of Health to achieve these important initiatives.”
— Andrew Muhl: Director of Advocacy for AARP Louisiana

“I applaud the state on this truly innovative project to transform behavioral healthcare in Louisiana. We have struggled far too long over-relying on police and emergency departments to be the primary crisis care response system. They are a key component; however, this new system brings us further upstream to engage people at a point where those levels of response will be less needed. This is a culture change whereby people will encounter a person-centered, resolution-focused, recovery-oriented approach that involves people building on their strengths while being supported to see options beyond the crisis. It is also a great opportunity for workforce expansion in Louisiana, as peer specialists (including people with lived experience) and bachelor level professionals will be more utilized as responders under the supervision of licensed clinicians. LSU’s Center for Evidence to Practice is thrilled to be a part of this promise of better behavioral healthcare for Louisiana.”  
— Stephen Phillippi, PhD, LCSW, Director of the Center for Evidence to Practice and Program Chair of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences at LSUHSC School of Public Health

“It has been a pleasure working with LDH and the team at the Office of Behavioral Health. LDH has shown a unique and ingenious ability in ensuring seamless access to medication-assisted treatment. LDH is extremely responsive to Opioid Treatment Program (OTP) patients most critically in need. Undoubtedly, they are totally committed to the recovery community.”
— Nichole Smith and Jonjelyn Gamble of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, The Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, The Division of Pharmacologic Therapies (SAMHSA/CSAT/DPT)

 “I applaud the Department of Health for its embrace of House Concurrent Resolution 42 which allows Medicaid recipients age 21 and older access to chiropractic care as a pain management alternative. The misuse and abuse of opioid medications remains a raging epidemic in Louisiana. Chiropractic care has long been known for easing the pain of certain conditions and as a treatment that could reduce the need for opioids. The implementation of this resolution goes hand in hand with LDH’s goal of improving access to substance use disorder treatment and the quality of care while lessening the burden that opioid use disorder places upon our state.”
— State Representative Joe Stagni, District 92

“Being in mental health crisis today is very scary. My experience is a targeted system that does not look at the whole person and that relies on prescribing medication. I was immediately admitted to a local hospital with a psychiatric ward where there were so many people in crisis and too few staff. Being around other patients made my condition worse, and it is hard to be without loved ones.  I look forward to the day where individuals have a choice to stay at home to get over the crisis with the help of mental health professionals.”
— Consumer of behavioral health services in support of a holistic crisis system of care

To read Together: Building a Stronger LDH and a Healthier Louisiana, visit ldh.la.gov/businessplan.