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)|
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)|
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)|
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)
|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)|
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.
- United Health Foundation. (2004). America’s Health: State Health Rankings 2004, available at: http://www.unitedhealthfoundation.org/shr2004/
- Census Bureau. (August 2005). Current Population Survey, 2005 Annual Social and Economic Supplement. Detailed Tables on Health Insurance, 2004.
- Kaiser Family Foundation. (September 2005). Key Facts: States Most Affected by Hurricane Katrina, available at: http://www.kff.org/uninsured/upload/7395.pdf
- Discussions with Louisiana State Health Officials
- 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.
- Washington Post / Kaiser Family Foundation / Harvard University. (September 2005). Survey of Hurricane Katrina Evacuees, available at: http://www.kff.org/newsmedia/7401.cfm
- 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.
- 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.
- Governor Blanco. (September 28, 2005). Testimony before the U.S. Senate, Committee on Finance.
- Information provided to the Louisiana State Legislature from the state economist and an economist at Economist.com.