Health Flashes - September 2009

LHC Group President John Indest has stepped down and assumed a new role. The company, one of the largest home nursing providers in the country, announced that Indest will serve as special adviser to CEO/company founder Keith Myers. Myers, who also serves as chairman of the board, once again returns to the role of president. Indest will continue to serve on the board of directors and as chair of the Quality Committee of the board. In his new role, Indest will work full time on projects for the company in the areas of business development, acquisition integration, joint venture relations and leadership training and education. In addition, he will serve as the company’s liaison with the National Association of Home Care & Hospice as well as other industry-focused groups. During the past 11 years, the New Iberia native has been an integral part of expanding LHC Group from six locations and just over 50 employees to 269 locations and more than 6,600 employees. Indest says the new role will allow him to be more “visible” to personnel in the field.

The Louisiana Children’s Health Insurance Program has retained BBR Creative to lead its marketing, advertising and public relations efforts. As part of the partnership, the Lafayette-based agency is driving and directing a campaign to promote the program to provide health insurance to children in the state. The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals’ LaCHIP and LaCHIP Affordable Plan are both available to all children in the state whose families meet the income guidelines for coverage. The income amounts to qualify for coverage are different, and while LaCHIP is a no-cost program, the LaCHIP Affordable Plan requires a small monthly premium and co-pays for services. Louisiana children 18 or younger without health insurance can qualify for coverage through LaCHIP or the LaCHIP Affordable Plan to receive coverage for doctors’ visits, hospitalization, personal care services, therapy, prescriptions and immunizations. With tens of thousands of Louisiana’s children going without health insurance each year, BBR Creative will create radio and television ads, public relations events and activities and rework the LaCHIP Web site as part of the agency’s state contract.

LGMC will hold a free seminar on a new, incisionless procedure to correct reflux Sept. 17 from 6–7 p.m, in Owen Auditorium. Dr. Philip Gachassin, the general surgeon who performs the procedure, will talk about this treatment option that reconstructs the flap valve between the stomach and esophagus. Studies show a significant reduction, or even elimination, of heartburn symptoms, and almost 80 percent of patients can forego daily medication. RSVP for the event at 289-8600. Also, in recognition of Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, the hospital will hold a special “Man to Man” seminar with a panel of doctors discussing total prostate health, including Drs. Brad Roth and David Benson, both of whom are urologists, and radiation oncologist Dr. Brent Mahoney. The seminar is Sept. 22, 5:30–6:30 p.m. in Owen Auditorium. RSVP for the event at 289-8070.

Home Health of Lafayette General Medical Center received a Platinum 2008 Louisiana Home Health Agency Quality Award presented by Louisiana Health Care Review Inc., the Medicare Quality Improvement Organization for Louisiana. With this award, Home Health of Lafayette General, which was recently purchased by LHC Group, is one of five home health agencies in the state to receive a platinum level award for 2008. Louisiana Home Health Quality Awards are given for excellent performance and improvement in acute care hospitalization and/or other outcomes.

On Aug. 1 LGMC’s long-term lease of St. Martin Hospital went into effect. The lease includes the physical plant and equipment, with the Lafayette hospital managing operations and staff at the Breaux Bridge hospital. “St. Martin is financially healthy, with a positive operating margin — a clear benefit for Lafayette General,” says David Callecod, LGMC’s president and CEO. “LGMC, in turn, will benefit the people of St. Martin parish with long-term stability and an expansion of medical services — services that a full-service hospital is better positioned to provide.” Rena Mouisset is serving as CEO of St. Martin Hospital, and a transition team had been in place for several months. St. Martin has been an affiliate of LGMC since 2000, assisting with physician recruitment and other services such as human resources and patient accounts.

Home Health of Lafayette General's Linsey Broussard and registered nurses Dana Hurd, Sara Andrus, Debra Goodly and JoQueisha Jones (seated); Christine Francis, RNs Brooke Thierry and Tameka Dauterive and Nora Leleux (standing); not pictured is Samantha Journet and PT Mary Kidder