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DHH Secretary Bruce D. Greenstein Announces Appointments to BAYOU HEALTH Quality Committee

Tuesday, April 24, 2012  |  Contact: Media & Communications: Phone: 225.342.1532, E-mail: dhhinfo@la.gov

BATON ROUGE—Today, the Department of Health and Hospitals Secretary Bruce D. Greenstein announced the members of the BAYOU HEALTH Quality Committee.

BAYOU HEALTH is the transformation of the State's Medicaid program in which two-thirds of recipients will have their care coordinated through networks administered by five private Health Plans. DHH chose to form the Quality Committee to provide oversight and monitoring of the program. Under the rules and contracts that govern BAYOU HEALTH, there are extensive requirements regarding health outcomes, quality measures and consumer engagement.

Health Plans are required to participate on the Quality Committee and will be measured on 37 clinical quality measures. The Health Plans face potential financial sanctions from the State if they do not meet minimum health quality improvement benchmarks for their members. DHH will publish regular reports on Health Plan quality and financial performance online.

"Our primary objective from day one in BAYOU HEALTH has been improving the health of Louisiana residents," Greenstein said. "This committee represents some of the sharpest medical minds in our State, and they will provide the oversight and expert guidance needed to raise the bar." 

This 19-member committee includes health care quality experts, advocates,  provider organizations and representatives of the the five BAYOU HEALTH Plans whose role is to advise DHH on best practices, provider relations, ongoing quality improvement measures and recommendations for changes to BAYOU HEALTH's structure as appropriate. The committee also includes representatives of both the Senate and House Health and Welfare committees.

The Committee Chairman is Medicaid Medical Director Dr. Rodney Wise.  The Committee will meet at least quarterly, and more often as necessary. Meetings will be open to the public, with meeting dates and minutes published online at www.MakingMedicaidBetter.com.   

Committee members include:

  1. Rodney Wise, M.D., Medical Director, Louisiana Medicaid (Chairman)
  2. Sonya Nelson, Executive Director, Amerigroup (BAYOU HEALTH Plan)
  3. Yolonda Hill-Spooner, M.D., Medical Director, LaCare (BAYOU HEALTH Plan)
  4. Karenlyn Dawson, M.D., Plan Medical Director, Louisiana Healthcare Connections (BAYOU HEALTH Plan)
  5. Michael H. Dickey, Ph.D., Director of Clinical Quality, United Healthcare (BAYOU HEALTH PLAN)
  6. Stewart Gordon, M.D., Chief Medical Director, Community Health Solutions  (BAYOU HEALTH Plan)
  7. Representative Scott Simon, Chair, House Health & Welfare Committee
  8. Chris Wroten, M.D., Doctor of Optometry, Designee, Senate Health & Welfare Committee
  9. John A. Vanchiere, M.D., Pediatric Infectious Disease Specialist
  10. Rebekah Gee, M.D., Project Director, DHH Birth Outcomes Initiative
  11. Sandra Blake, Ph.D., Director, Office of Outcome Research & Evaluation, University of Louisiana at Monroe - College of Pharmacy
  12. Joe Rosier, CEO, Rapides Foundation
  13. James Hussey, M.D., Medical Director, Louisiana Behavioral Health Partnership
  14. Ron Ritchey, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, EQHealth Solutions (Louisiana's Medicare External Quality Review Organization)
  15. Bryan G. Sibley, M.D., Pediatrician, specialized on children with special health needs
  16. Justin Bennett, Rural Nurse Practitioner
  17. Mary Noll, Director of Case Management, HCA Mid America, Louisiana Hospital Association Representative
  18. Lyn Kieltyka, Ph.D., Epidemiologist, CDC Representative working with DHH Maternal and Child Health Program
  19. Maitland Deland, M.D., Radiation Oncologist, President and CEO, Oncologics, Inc.

"BAYOU HEALTH will be fully launched across our state on June 1," said Chairman Dr. Rodney Wise. "As we move into the operational phase, this committee will be instrumental in providing real-time evaluation and oversight so we can ensure continuous improvement and better health for our enrollees."

The final phase of BAYOU HEALTH implementation includes the parishes in Southwest, Central and North Louisiana. Recipients in these areas will transition to BAYOU HEALTH on June 1, at which time the program will be fully implemented statewide. Medicaid recipients in the New Orleans and Northshore regions transitioned to BAYOU HEALTH on Feb. 1, and recipients in the Capital Area, Acadiana and South Central Louisiana transitioned on April 1.

For more information about BAYOU HEALTH, please visit www.makingmedicaidbetter.com.