Thursday, April 18, 2024

Ochsner LSU Health releases open letter regarding the City of Shreveport Health Plan

by BIZ Magazine

To the City of Shreveport employees, retirees, and constituents:

As an anchor institution in our region and a leading healthcare system, we have a responsibility to educate those we serve on health and wellness information that impacts them. Given the recent misunderstandings affecting the lives of thousands of our patients and in the spirit of transparency, we are sharing with you our role and understanding of the City of Shreveport tiered health plan under consideration.

While we are glad to be available as an in-network provider, first and foremost we put patients first. For more than fifty years, this institution has trained the majority of physicians in this region, and we promote collaboration among physicians and health systems for the benefit of the patient. In fact, many of our patients are referred from other healthcare systems to receive our highly specialized care. Our medical team collaborates with those referring physicians, as well as highly regarded specialists around the world. We respect the patient’s choice in their healthcare provider and value existing physician-patient relationships.

Because of this, we are elated to see that with this tiered plan patients who receive care at any major health system in our area and many independent providers will see little to no increase in cost for services as demonstrated in the plan details publicly provided at the City of Shreveport Health Care Trust Fund Board Meeting on September 7, 2022:

The plan allows patients the option to stay with their current provider at no increase from the 2022 cost for visits to primary and specialty care providers. It also improves the Tier 1 options by decreasing patient costs with thousands of local providers, including Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport, CHRISTUS, and many independent providers. This is an important savings since approximately 50 percent of existing City health plan members already see these Tier 1 providers, according to the Blue Cross Blue Shield utilization report. Additionally, this is important for local patients needing specialized care that can only be found at Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport (e.g., trauma, burn, epilepsy, and highly specialized pediatric, stroke care, and more).

While our country and our community are facing severe inflation and the cost of healthcare has a tangible impact, we are proud to be part of a robust plan that provides a choice of independent providers and all major health systems in the area. The employer’s cost of health insurance is substantial, and in this case, we realize the burden is also residents and taxpayers.

Upholding our values, we remain committed to making high-quality healthcare available to everyone, when they need it and where they need it.

Everyone has a reason for what they do. For us, it’s you.

Sincerely,

Leonardo Seoane, MD

Senior Vice President and Chief Academic Officer, Ochsner Health

Interim Chief Executive Officer, Ochsner LSU Health System – North La.

Charles Fox, MD

Vice Chancellor for Shreveport Clinical Affairs, LSU Health Shreveport

Chief Medical Officer, Ochsner LSU Health System – North La.

Steve Randall 

Chief Operating Officer, Ochsner LSU Health System – North La.

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