Health care providers who provided no-cost treatment for uninsured patients from six Hurricane Rita-affected parishes will be reimbursed through a pool of federal funds.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has provided Louisiana with $10.6 million to reimburse providers for uncompensated care related to Hurricane Rita. The Department of Health will use this money for Louisiana Medicaid-enrolled providers who treated uninsured patients from Allen, Beauregard, Evangeline, Sabine, St. Landry and Vernon parishes, which were federally designated as Rita-impacted areas.

“We announced that $383 million was available to reimburse Katrina-affected health care providers in March, and we have worked quickly to obtain funds for health care providers in Southwest Louisiana who responded to treat Rita evacuees,” said LDH Secretary Dr. Fred Cerise. “To date, we have nearly $2 million pending in claims, and we expect to receive more in the coming weeks. We plan to reimburse them as soon as possible.”

Cameron and Calcasieu parishes were also affected by Hurricane Rita; however, all coastal parishes in Louisiana were designated as eligible areas for uncompensated care funding following Hurricane Katrina. Whenever there is an overlap, the federal government designates that parish for reimbursement under Katrina, which happened first. As coastal parishes, Cameron and Calcasieu were eligible for reimbursement from the Katrina uncompensated care funds, and providers in those areas have submitted claims.

Louisiana Medicaid will reimburse providers with the uncompensated care funding if they treated evacuees who received medically necessary treatment but had no source of payment for these services. Hospitals will be reimbursed at 100 percent of the Medicaid rate.

Providers were able to begin billing Medicaid for this uncompensated care on March 13, 2006. They must submit an invoice by June 30, 2006 for each Rita evacuee served to obtain payment. Providers will be reimbursed only for dates of service starting on Sept. 23, 2005 and up to Jan. 31, 2006.

Health care providers must have already been enrolled in the Medicaid program to receive reimbursement for uncompensated care. Services that are eligible for reimbursement include inpatient and outpatient hospitals care, physician services, emergency ambulance transportation, home health services, treatment in nursing homes and various other medically necessary services as allowed by the federal government.

Providers can find the invoices to file these claims as well as more information about covered services and reimbursement procedures from and and should address questions to 225-216-6314 or 225-216-6287.