Today, the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) has released its annual Outcomes Report detailing the results of key initiatives and policy goals for FY 2023.
LDH was successful in completing 91.1% of its 45 goals and 92.5% of its 253 deliverables outlined in the FY 2023 LDH business plan titled “Invest: Teaming Up for a Stronger LDH and a Healthier Louisiana."
The goals were selected from a range of policy priorities and include addressing chronic disease; improving maternal health; expanding Medicaid policies that address environmental health risks; expanding the behavioral health system’s capacity; and improving services for citizens with developmental disabilities, among others.
The Department’s business plan is designed to improve the health of all Louisianans. The business plan serves as a way to measure progress on key initiatives the Department sets out to deliver on each year, and provide transparency to the public about the Department’s priorities and outcomes.
LDH had five major categories designed to make measurable improvements:
- Improve health and well-being across the lifespan of Louisianans
- Support vulnerable and underserved populations
- Invest in and empower #TeamLDH
- Improve performance, accountability and compliance
- Strengthen customer service, partnerships and community relations
“Improving health outcomes for all Louisianans is critical, and the Department of Health has made tremendous progress in implementing policies that address some of the biggest health challenges facing our state, including chronic diseases, maternal health, behavioral health and overall access to quality medical care for all of our hardworking individuals and families,” said Gov. John Bel Edwards. “LDH continues to build on the adoption of Medicaid expansion, the easiest big decision I made nearly eight years ago, and as a result, hundreds of thousands of our citizens are able to seek preventive care and treatment for serious conditions that they otherwise would not be able to afford. In addition, LDH has provided more services and programs to assist more people in need, and I’m proud of all this team has done to develop and execute a plan with key policy priorities that are equitable and enable Louisianans to live healthier and have a higher quality of life.”
“This year’s business plan was the work of many hands at the Department, and as we set out to execute the plan, we made many meaningful partnerships and created new strategies that will serve the state well in the years to come,” LDH Secretary Stephen Russo said. “I am incredibly proud of the team that made this plan possible, the compassion it was carried out with and the critical efforts that made Louisianans of all ages healthier.”
The plan could not have been carried out with the work of countless partners throughout Louisiana, and its success would not have been realized without a dedication to strengthening Louisiana’s workforce and its people. The Department remains focused on its mission, which is to protect and promote health and to ensure access to medical preventative and rehabilitative services for all of Louisiana’s residents.
Quotes from our community partners and legislators
“Family and children have always been a focal point for me over the last eight years as First Lady. That is why I’m grateful to see the Louisiana Department of Health is continuing to prioritize emotional and behavioral health for children in our state. By developing an action plan to address Adverse Childhood Experiences and executing trauma-informed care, more families throughout Louisiana can work towards being happier, healthier and readily have access to the care they need.”
— Louisiana First Lady Donna H. Edwards
“I congratulate the Louisiana Department of Health for continuing to create and implement annual agency-wide business plans with clear and measurable goals to improve health outcomes throughout the state. I am also greatly encouraged by the significant progress that has been made in key areas such as an increase in health screenings, an enhanced focus on maternal health, and great strides in addressing the mental health crisis that’s affecting our residents. I am eager to see how growth continues in the next year, leading to a stronger, healthier Louisiana.”
— State Representative Larry Bagley, Chairman, House Health and Welfare Committee
"By recognizing the profound impact of nutrition and adverse childhood experiences, LDH has taken decisive steps towards a healthier Louisiana through partnerships and a dedicated commitment to the well-being of our mothers and children."
— State Representative Stephanie Hilferty, District 94
"Chronic diseases have long been a significant challenge in Louisiana, affecting lives and driving healthcare costs. Through strategic partnerships and a multi-pronged approach, LDH has successfully increased colorectal cancer screening rates, promoting early detection of cardiovascular diseases, tackled childhood obesity, and expanded access to healthier food options. These milestones reflect the Department’s unwavering dedication to enhancing the well-being of our state and its residents."
— Senator Gerald Boudreaux, District 24
"The Department’s dedication to addressing the mental health crisis in Louisiana is both commendable and essential. LDH's involvement in the launch of the Louisiana 988, alongside the efforts of the Office of Behavioral Health, is a significant step towards ensuring Louisianans in crisis have access to the support they need."
— State Representative Laurie Schlegel, District 82
“Louisiana 988 has quickly proven to be a critical source of 24/7 mental health support. Upon its launch, many Louisianans were unaware of this crucial resource. However, LDH has made significant progress in promoting this important tool, which is becoming more widely utilized and known during a time of mental health crisis in our state. I look forward to seeing the continued usage and promotion of 988, aimed at reaching our most vulnerable residents in their time of need.”
— Tonja Myles, Certified Peer Support Specialist, Set Free Indeed Ministry
"I'm proud of the work LDH has done to not only meet, but exceed its goals to increase dental services for adults with developmental disabilities. Dental care is a fundamental aspect of overall health, and for those living with intellectual or developmental disabilities, it's even more crucial. LDH has not only met but exceeded its goals by ensuring a network of 20 dental providers and increasing the percentage of recipients enrolled in the Adult Waiver Dental Program who receive essential dental services."
— State Representative Rhonda Butler, District 38
“The Louisiana Dental Task Force for Adults with Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities is pleased with the great strides that LDH has continued to make in providing improved access to comprehensive dental services for adults with intellectual/developmental disabilities. Many adults living with severe and profound intellectual disabilities have an extreme aversion to probing in their mouth and are unable to tolerate proper teeth brushing, cleanings, and more. Therefore, at the recommendation of the Louisiana Dental Task Force, LDH's work to create a network of providers who are trained in utilizing specialized techniques to offer these critical services is a major step in allowing Louisiana residents to enjoy better oral health and ultimately lead healthier lives.”
— Kathy Dwyer, Co-Chair, Louisiana Dental Task Force for Adults with Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities
"People living with sickle cell disease were hospitalized, on average, for 30 days in 2020. This results in missed work, missed school and the symptoms are painful and debilitating. The Department’s dedication to working with health providers to offer increased medication options that yield the best clinical results, specialized care at scheduled appointments and reduced waiting time at ER visits, along with increased awareness to school communities, is critical to ensuring the sickle cell population has access to the adequate services and resources they need.”
— State Representative Tammy Phelps, District 3
"The challenges faced by more than 15,500 older adults and individuals with adult-onset disabilities are substantial, including long waiting lists and a shortage of direct support professionals. LDH's initiative to strengthen service delivery through the expansion and improvement of the Community Choices Waiver, offering incentives to direct service workers, and increasing the availability of assistive technology is commendable. With goals met in increasing response rates, reducing wait times, and broadening opportunities for community involvement through technology, LDH has made significant strides in enhancing the lives of those in need."
— State Representative Rhonda Butler, District 38
“Ensuring there are adequate home and community-based supports for more of Louisiana’s older populations is critical to improving the quality-of-life for this vulnerable population. OAAS has worked closely with stakeholders to strengthen its communications with individuals to reduce wait times for waiver services.”
— Denise Bottcher, State Director, AARP
“The safety and well-being of our most vulnerable residents remain a top priority, and I am proud of the work LDH continues to do to review and approve emergency preparedness plans. The Nursing Home Emergency Preparedness Committee has been a critical asset to ensuring nursing home operators have adequately planned for an evacuation site that is appropriate for this highly vulnerable population. The collaboration across LDH program offices and state and local agencies has also improved the review process, identifying inadequate evacuation sites well before a storm occurs.”
— State Representative Joe Stagni, District 92
"The state's aging water infrastructure has long been a concern, and LDH's initiatives, including assigning letter grades to systems and prioritizing disadvantaged communities, are commendable steps towards addressing this issue. While there is still work to be done, LDH’s commitment to utilizing Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding and seeking additional resources in the coming year is a testament to its dedication to safeguarding the well-being of our families and communities."
— Senator Fred Mills, District 22
“Expanding the Workforce Development Training Program has created new opportunities for Louisiana residents to support the Medicaid eligibility process. This initiative was particularly important this year, as hundreds of thousands of Louisianans need help having their eligibility redetermined as we exit the public health emergency with the resumption of eligibility checks.”
— Byron Decoteau, Director of State Civil Service
“By exceeding its goals with a 30% increase in cases opened on selected Medicaid provider types and a 10% increase in individual recipient data mining case reviews, LDH has made significant progress in improving internal oversight by enhancing predictive analytics capabilities and implementing evidence-based, process-driven algorithms.”
— Senator Bodi White, District 6
"The Office of Women's Health and Community Health’s efforts to conduct town halls across the state is a testament to the Department’s dedication to actively listening to the needs and concerns of our communities. I was happy to attend 95% of town hall meetings. Listening to the concerns and issues of the constituents proved the importance and necessity of the office. It's through this kind of engagement that we can better understand and address issues related to women's health, access to healthcare, mental wellness, and preventative care. Their work signifies progress and a positive change in the way healthcare is delivered to women, ensuring they feel seen and heard in every aspect of their health journey. I am so excited about this office!"
— Senator Regina Barrow, District 15
“I am so appreciative that the Louisiana Department of Health recognized the need to address equity work in a systematic way. We need to be strategic in producing health equity activities to ensure our most vulnerable and underserved populations have the same chance at living healthy lives as our most fortunate residents.”
— State Representative Dustin Miller, District 40
“Partnerships and collaborations with the Louisiana Department of Health have been key to Louisiana’s success, especially in recruiting Well-Ahead Louisiana Rural Health Scholars who can provide healthcare services in areas with shortages.”
— State Representative Vanessa Caston LaFleur, District 101
“Taking on collaborations with HBCUs and other institutions of higher education in this year’s business plan was an excellent way for us to bring much-needed diversity to Louisiana’s healthcare workforce. This initiative in particular made us better prepared to meet the ambitious health equity goals we have set to reach all of our vulnerable populations.”
— Rep. Jason Hughes, District 100