Center for American Progress

Katrina by the Numbers: Need for Health Care Assistance in Louisiana
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Katrina by the Numbers: Need for Health Care Assistance in Louisiana

Congress and the administration are currently considering options to assist people in the Gulf States who have been affected by Hurricane Katrina. Louisiana was particularly affected, and has borne serious damage to its population’s health, health care system, and ability to pay for its people’s health care needs. The facts illustrate this:

Need for Health Care and Health Coverage
50th Louisiana ranking on health of population prior to Katrina (1)
5th Louisiana ranking on rate of uninsured prior to Katrina (2)
17th

Louisiana ranking on proportion of low-income uninsured children prior to Katrina (2)

761,000 Number of uninsured people in Louisiana prior to Katrina (2)
71% Percent of low-income (< 200% of poverty) Louisianans who have Medicaid coverage or who are uninsured (3)
653,175 Number of Medicaid beneficiaries in affected parishes prior to Katrina (3)
40% Percent of individuals denied Medicaid coverage in Baton Rouge since Katrina who meet income rules but not other eligibility rules (5)
22% Percent of Louisianans living in poverty (3)
1.1 million Number of people in Louisiana displaced by Katrina (4)
39,000 Number of people in Louisiana in shelters as of 10/4 (4)
52% Percent of Houston Astrodome evacuees who were uninsured (6)
33% Percent of Houston Astrodome evacuees hurt or ill due to Katrina (6)
41% Percent of Houston Astrodome evacuees with some chronic health problems (6)
Damage and Destruction of Health System Capacity
23 Number of hospitals in Orleans Parish before Katrina with 3,679 beds
1 Number of hospitals operating in Orleans Parish after Katrina – the temporary US Comfort medical ship with 270 beds (7)
54% Percent of total charges for uninsured patients served at Charity / University Hospital in New Orleans; Charity Hospital is no longer open (8)
11 Number of hospitals in Jefferson Parish before Katrina with 2,108 beds (7)
5 Number of hospitals operating in Jefferson Parish after Katrina with 1,068 beds (7)
53 Number of nursing homes operating in Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, and St. Bernard Parishes before Katrina (7)
6 Number of nursing homes operating in Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, and St. Bernard Parishes after Katrina (7)
1,850 Annual number of mental health acute unit admissions at Medical Center of Louisiana at New Orleans, which no longer is open (7)
1,974

Annual number of mental health outpatient clinic visits in New Orleans at clinics that are no longer open (7)

6,821 Annual number of individuals served in New Orleans outpatient substance abuse programs that are no longer open (7)
16,488

Number of basic health care providers in Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, and St. Bernard Parishes prior to Katrina, many of whom are no longer there, including: (7)
• 1,479 primary care doctors
• 9,442 licensed nurses
• 1,105 pharmacists
• 3,047 emergency medical technicians
• 1,415 mental health workers (psychiatrists and social workers)

Crippling of State Fiscal Capacity
$1 billion State revenue loss, representing one-seventh of general funds total (10)
40% Percent of businesses damaged or destroyed in Louisiana due to Katrina (9)
50% Fourth quarter employment loss in New Orleans (10)
100,000 Permanent employment loss in Louisiana (10)
82% Oil production area in Louisiana affected by Katrina (10)
60%

Natural gas production area in Louisiana affected by Katrina (10)

20% State refinery capacity shut down from Katrina as of September 27 that could be down for an extended period of time (10)

Compiled by Jeanne Lambrew, PhD, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, Associate Professor at George Washington University, and member of Louisiana’s Governor’s Health Reform Task Force.

REFERENCES:

  1. United Health Foundation. (2004). America’s Health: State Health Rankings 2004, available at: http://www.unitedhealthfoundation.org/shr2004/
  2. Census Bureau. (August 2005). Current Population Survey, 2005 Annual Social and Economic Supplement. Detailed Tables on Health Insurance, 2004.
  3. Kaiser Family Foundation. (September 2005). Key Facts: States Most Affected by Hurricane Katrina, available at: http://www.kff.org/uninsured/upload/7395.pdf
  4. Discussions with Louisiana State Health Officials
  5. Cohen Ross, D. and Wachino, V. (September 26, 2005). Medicaid Categorical Rules are Proving a Major Obstacle to Getting Health Coverage to Impoverished Katrina Victims in Louisiana. Washington, DC: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
  6. Washington Post / Kaiser Family Foundation / Harvard University. (September 2005). Survey of Hurricane Katrina Evacuees, available at: http://www.kff.org/newsmedia/7401.cfm
  7. Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals. (October 3, 2005). Inventory of the Health Care System Infrastructure in DHH Region 1, Including Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, and St. Bernard Parishes. Before Hurricane Katrina and Katrina Impact.
  8. Cerise, FP. (December 16, 2004). Louisiana’s Report on the Uninsured, Presented to the Governor’s Health Care Reform Panel. Baton Rouge, LA: Department of Health and Hospitals.
  9. Governor Blanco. (September 28, 2005). Testimony before the U.S. Senate, Committee on Finance.
  10. Information provided to the Louisiana State Legislature from the state economist and an economist at Economist.com.

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