Category Archives: Member News

There's Still Time To Get Health Insurance

Sign up during the Marketplace Special Enrollment Period March 15-April 30 and avoid paying a fine in 2016.

Visit one of these events and get in person assistance with enrollment.

To qualify for the special enrollment, all of the following should apply:

You are not currently enrolled in a health insurance plan
You did not have health insurance last year
You are filing taxes for 2014
You were not aware until after February 15, 2015 that there is a fine for not having health insurance

If you qualify, follow these steps by April 30, 2015

  1. Gather Social Security Numbers, employer and income information for everyone in your household who needs insurance.
  2. Choose how you want to apply:
    • Online at HealthCare.gov
    • Call the Marketplace at 1-800-318-2596 (open 24/7)
    • Locate the nearest in-person assistance by calling 504HealthNet at 504-206-6275

The Greater New Orleans Community Health Connection Program Will Continue for Two More Years

1212014 Thank You Share Graphic GNOCHCNew Orleans, LA (December 1, 2014) – 504HealthNet is proud to report the Greater New Orleans Community Health Connection (GNOCHC) 1115 Waiver has been approved for two more years, through December 31, 2016. This means that safety net clinics in the greater New Orleans area will receive continued federal and state Medicaid funding to pay for critically important primary care and behavioral health services. GNOCHC participants are adults who are under 100 percent of the federal poverty level, who are not eligible for regular Medicaid, and who live in Jefferson, Orleans, St. Bernard and Plaquemines parishes.

You can read the press release from the Louisiana Department of health and Hospitals here.

Continuing this program means 54,000 GNO residents will continue to receive primary, preventative, and behavioral health services in our community. It also means more than 300 people in health centers across the metro area will keep their jobs, and the state health department will ultimately save millions in projected healthcare costs it would have incurred from a dramatic increase in emergency room visits from people who otherwise would not have been able to access care.

“We’re thrilled that the state and federal government have continued to support and fund this important healthcare program, and we know that this program is making a huge impact on the lives of GNO residents” said Susan Todd, Executive Director of 504HealthNet. “Continuing to fund this program for the next two years means a lot for patients who are looking to stay healthy in their community.”

By providing $10 million in funding from the current state’s budget, GNOCHC will approximately draw down an additional $16 million in federal funding to deliver care to low-income citizens who do not qualify for Medicaid, but who also do not have private health benefits from their employers.

504HealthNet is a non-profit organization comprised of 22 community health service providers representing the primary care and behavioral health safety net for Orleans, Jefferson, St. Bernard, and Plaquemines Parishes. Together, we are working collaboratively to better meet the primary care and behavioral health needs of low-income, uninsured, and underinsured residents in the Greater New Orleans area.

GNOCHC is a program that supports 504HealthNet members, a network of community health centers working collaboratively to better meet the primary care and behavioral health care needs of low-income, uninsured and underinsured residents in Greater New Orleans.

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Media Contact:
Susan Todd, 504-383-5524
Stodd@504HealthNet.org

Health Insurance Marketplace Open for All

11/2/2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Ariel White, 504.206.6275
Info@504HealthNet.Org

Health Insurance Marketplace Open for All

NEW ORLEANS, LA — This week marks the beginning of open enrollment for the Health Insurance Marketplace. Starting on November 1, local organizations are mobilizing to help Greater New Orleans area residents sign up for health insurance coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace—a tool to help individuals find health insurance that is right for them at affordable prices.

504HealthNet partners will host a number of Marketplace enrollment events which will take place from November to January to provide information and one-on-one assistance to residents seeking to apply for insurance coverage. The events are organized by members of 504HealthNet, a non-profit organization comprised of 22 community health care providers representing the primary care and behavioral health safety net for Jefferson, Orleans, St. Bernard and Plaquemines parishes.

“Most people need medical care at some point, but will not know in advance when that is. Having health insurance helps you cover these costs, protects you from very high expenses, and can make it easier to see a doctor,” said Susan Todd, executive director of 504HealthNet. “Through the Marketplace, financial assistance is available to help lower the cost of health insurance. Nearly 6 in 10 uninsured Americans could get insurance for $100 month or less. Depending on your income, you could pay as low as $20 a month for coverage.”

All plans offered through the Marketplace cover a comprehensive set of benefits, including physician visits, preventive care, hospital stays, and prescriptions. Discrimination based on gender or pre¬existing conditions is no longer allowed, making it easier to get covered. Also, many individuals, families and small businesses will qualify for a discount on their monthly premiums.

Those seeking Marketplace enrollment help can attend an upcoming Marketplace enrollment event or visit or call a Greater New Orleans community health center offering assistance. Upcoming Marketplace enrollment events offer an opportunity to receive in-person enrollment assistance at a convenient location. Visit 504HealthNet.org or call (504) 658-2053 for more information.

It is important to note those without any health insurance coverage may have to pay a fee of $695 per person ($347.50 per child under 18) or 2.5% of your income, whichever is higher. Avoid the penalty and enroll in coverage by January 31!

For more information on the Marketplace, visit 504HealthNet.org/Insurance-Marketplace.

Clinical Update: Guidelines for Pneumonia Vaccinations in Adult Patients

By Farah Kaiksow, MD, MPP

The following information is summarized from the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices February 2015 publication.

Two pneumonia vaccines currently available for adults:

    • the newer 13-valent pneumoccocal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) which covers additional strains not included in the original PPSV23

    • and the 23-valent pneumococcal conjugate polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23, also known as Pneumovax23).

    If your patient is 65 years or older and:

    • Has never received any pneumonia vaccine

    • Administer PCV13 first, followed in six to twelve months by PPSV23.

    • Has received PPSV23:

    • Administer 1 dose of PCV13 at least one year after PPSV23 was given.

    • Has received at least one dose of PPSV23 before the age of 65:

    • Administer PCV13 at least one year after PPSV23 was given, followed by another dose of PPSV23 six to twelve months after PCV13 was given and at least five years after the first dose of PPSV23 was given.

    • Has received PCV13 and not PPSV23 before the age of 65:

    • Administer PPSV23 at least six to twelve months after PCV13 was given.

    • Has received both PCV13 and at least one dose of PPSV23 before the age of 65:

    • Administer PPSV23 at least six to twelve months after PCV13 was given and at least five years after the first dose of PPSV23 was given.

    If your patient is 19 to 64 years and has one of the following conditions: congenital or acquired immunodeficiency, leukemia, multiple myeloma, congenital or acquired asplenia, HIV infection, lymphoma, solid organ transplant, splenic dysfunction, chronic renal failure, Hodgkin’s disease, iatrogenic immunosuppression, splenectomy, nephrotic syndrome, generalized malignancy, sickle cell disease or other hemoglobinopathies and:

    • Has never received any pneumonia vaccine:

    • Administer PCV13 first, followed in eight weeks by PPSV23, followed at least five years later by a second dose of PPSV23.

    • Has received at least one dose of PPSV23:

    • Administer PCV13 at least one year after PPSV23 was given, followed by another dose of PPSV23 at least eight weeks after PCV13 and at least five years after the first dose of PPSV23.

    • Has received two doses of PPSV23:

    • Administer PCV13 at least one year after the most recent PPSV23 was given.

    • Has received PCV13 and not PPSV23:

    • Administer PPSV23 at least eight weeks after PCV13 was given, followed with another dose of PPSV23 at least five years later.

    • Has received both PCV13 and only one dose of PPSV23:


    • Administer another dose of PPSV23 at least five years after the first dose was given.

    If your patient is 19 to 64 years old and has: chronic heart disease (including chronic heart failure and cardiomyopathies, but excluding hypertension), chronic lung disease (including COPD, ephysema, and asthma), chronic liver disease (including cirrhosis), diabetes mellitus, alcoholism, cigarette use, or lives in a nursing home or other long-term care facility:

    • Administer one dose of PPSV23.

    If your patient is 19 to 64 years old and has cerebrospinal fluid leaks or cochlear implants:

    • Administer PCV13, followed in eight weeks by PPSV23.

504HealthNet Marks the 10-year Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina

NEW ORLEANS—504HealthNet executive director Susan Todd released the following statement on the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

“It has been ten years since our city was changed momentously by Hurricane Katrina. In the past decade we have grown in ways we could not have imagined. Through the rebuilding process the city has increased the number of locations that people can receive primary care and behavioral health services in their neighborhood.

Having community-based providers located in all neighborhoods through out the city—and throughout the region—means that access to affordable, high quality care is more available than ever before. Across the 504HealthNet member clinics providers see more than 140,000 patients. These community based health clinics have become centers of care for anyone who needs it—from working parents with a cold, to the waiter with a burn, to the student with a migraine. These health centers are working tirelessly to build a healthier New Orleans and to continue to serve the people who need it most.”

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ABOUT 504HEALTHNET
504HealthNet is a non-profit organization comprised of 22 community health service providers representing the primary care and behavioral health safety net for Orleans, Jefferson, St. Bernard, and Plaquemines Parishes. Together, 504HealthNet is working collaboratively to better meet the primary care and behavioral health needs of low-income, uninsured, and underinsured residents in the Greater New Orleans area.

504HealthNet in the News

By the time patients arrive at Dr. Monir Shalaby’s office at the EXCELth clinic in New Orleans, they have run out of options: Most have little or no income, no health insurance and, usually, a heap of health issues.

Ten years ago, their options shrunk to nothing when Hurricane Katrina’s storm surge breached the levees, swamping homes and businesses. With many of the city’s charitable hospitals closed due to storm damage and two of EXCELth’s clinics flooded, patients came to the third from all over the city, standing in blocks-long lines to replace lost prescriptions and seek health care.

Read the full story here.

504HealthNet in the News

Access Health Louisiana (AHL) is marking National Health Center Week 2015 (NHCW) with a special Voter Registration Drive as well as a Coloring Contest for Children in all its Community Health Centers in seven parishes in south Louisiana.

This is part of a weeklong campaign (Aug. 9-15) to raise awareness about the mission and accomplishments of America’s Health Centers – the largest and most successful system of primary healthcare.One of the bright spots in America’s health care system, health centers started 50 years ago as a pilot project during President Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty.

Read the full story here.

504HealthNet in the News

Some had no place to go or no wheels to take them. The sick and the elderly waited helplessly. Thousands stayed for their pets or figured they’d just ride it out as they had before. In a pinch, there was always the Superdome.

Roxy Wright was too connected to get stuck like that.

Wright counts prominent musicians, judges and politicians in her orbit of family and friends, and for a time she attended Mass with former Gov. Kathleen Blanco. She was Blanco’s New Orleans office director when she tuned in to watch her boss stand before the TV cameras on Aug. 28, 2005, ghostly white, and plead for rapid flight.

Read the full story here.

504HealthNet Presents Champion of Community Healthcare Award

504HealthNet and its 21 member organizations presented Senator David Heitmeier with the Champion of Community Healthcare Award. This annual award celebrates a member of the community who has fought tirelessly to preserve and lift up community health care in the Greater New Orleans Area.

“This year 504HealthNet, our member organizations, and community stakeholders joined together to ensure that the Greater New Orleans Community Health Connection (GNOCHC) program would continue to provide insurance coverage to 53,000 people who would otherwise be uninsured,” said Susan Todd, executive director of 504HealthNet. “Senator Heitmeier played a pivotal role in making sure that patients could continue to receive the care that they need at community health centers.”

Funding for the program was set to expire in August of this year, however the Legislature appropriated additional funding to continue the program.

The Greater New Orleans Community Health Connection (GNOCHC) program provides primary, preventative and behavioral health coverage to 53,000 adults 100% of poverty and below, and who are otherwise uninsured. These are hard-working waitresses, artist, musicians and the like who earn enough money that they do not qualify for Medicaid, but they do not have a private insurance option either. They also do not make enough money to qualify for insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace established through the Affordable Care Act sometimes referred to as “Obamacare”.

“We’re constantly working to make sure that all of our member organizations are delivering the highest quality care to the people in their communities,” said Michael G. Griffin, 504HealthNet board president, and president and CEO of Daughters of Charity Health Centers. “Giving people the option to get care in their community helps to educate and keep the entire community healthy, through high quality care and through growing jobs.”

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504HealthNet is a non-profit organization which helps to support an integrated and coordinated network of healthcare providers in the Greater New Orleans region to make sure that all people, regardless of their ability to pay have access to quality health care.

For more information, or to find a clinic in your community go to 504healthnet.org