Louisiana Flex State Profile
The Technical Assistance and Services Center (TASC), a program of the National Rural Health Resource Center, provides technical assistance for the Rural Hospital Medicare Flexibility (Flex) Program in the form of information, tools and resources. State Flex Programs benefit from sharing information with one another and the Flex State Profiles are meant to be a method to encourage that sharing.
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- Purchase benchmarking tool service program for critical access hospitals (CAHs) and support participation in quality reporting and benchmarking
- Host and support educational events focused on mid-level management/coordinated patient care and quality improvement. Support emergency medical services (EMS) training for CAH staff
- Assist CAHs with chronic disease prevention initiatives including education on guidelines and recommendations of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) National Asthma Education and Prevention Program (NAEPP). Two CAHs will be assisted in converting to completely smoke free environments
- Host and support billing and coding education for CAHs
- Three CAHs will be supported to participate in individualized assessments according to their specific needs (i.e., recovery audit contractors [RAC] preparation, chargemaster review, operations performance reviews, etc.)
- Collaborate with the Louisiana Emergency Response Network (LERN) statewide task force and the Louisiana Rural Ambulance Alliance (LRAA) to help fund and promote initiatives associated with building patient transfer infrastructure statewide and assist with educational endeavors affecting CAHs
- Support recruitment/retention/workforce services such as Med Job Louisiana, National Health Service Corps Program, J-1 Visa Waiver Program, 3RNet, and state and federal loan repayment programs to promote rural recruitment
The Louisiana Flex Program utilized program funding to provide billing and coding training and certification to more than 100 individuals with the intent of developing more efficient and effective billers and coders who will improve the filing of claims for appropriate and maximum return and reduction in errors.
In addition, the Louisiana Flex Program facilitated and completed two strategic planning meetings with key partners including the Louisiana Hospital Association, the Louisiana Rural Health Association, and the Rural Hospital Coalition to collaborate on the needs of rural facilities and ensure that the program is maximizing its Flex funding and is used to best meet the needs of the state.
The single most significant achievement of the Louisiana Flex Program to date is the assessment and identification of needs within the state's rural communities via a collaborative relationship with hospital administrators, which ensures that their voices are heard and both the state and rural communities benefit.
State Contact Details
Specialty Areas / Background
Gerrelda is the director of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals' Bureau of Primary Care and Rural Health, which entails the management of 37 professional and support personnel, and the administration of five service units, including Chronic Disease Prevention and Control; Health Systems Development; Operations Support; Practice Management Consulting; and Recruitment and Retention Services. She has a graduate degree in business administration and an undergraduate degree in English, and has worked for the department for more than 16 years in such capacities as Disease Intervention Specialist, Primary Care Officer and Chronic Disease Director. Currently, Gerrelda provides direction regarding day-to-day operations of the Bureau to staff, departmental agencies, federal and state partners and stakeholders. She serves as a principal advisor to rural and underserved community leaders and agencies in analyzing health care needs, and she meets with federal and state government officials, federal and state legislators, philanthropic administrators, hospital, clinic and community health center administrators, health care experts, consumer advocacy administrators and leading experts from other states to direct the efforts of the programs, and identify and pursue opportunities for increased funding for primary care and rural health initiatives. In addition, Gerrelda formulates and implements policies and procedures for programs administered within the scope of the law, and she collaborates with various state officials to increase the supply of primary care providers in rural and underserved areas; strengthen the health care infrastructure; and build capacity at the state and community levels to ensure sufficient health care access for improvement of health status for citizens of all socio-economic levels within the state. Gerrelda is a strong advocate for quality and accessible healthcare for all.
State Office Director since November 2007
Specialty Areas / Background
Beth administers all aspects of the Bureau of Primary Care and Rural Health's Health Systems Development and Recruitment and Retention Units, which house the State Office of Rural Health (SORH) and State Office of Primary Care (PCO).
Flex Program Director since February 2010
Kandi is responsible for assisting the State Office of Rural Health (SORH) Director in the coordination of the State Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility Program for Louisiana and ascertaining all program policies and guidelines and ensuring program operations conform to the goals of the department and meet federal and state laws and regulations.
Flex Coordinator since April 2010