New Orleans physician ratios back to normal, finally

After two years, the ratio of physicians to consumers in the New Orleans area finally seems to be getting back to normal, according to a new report. However, health care still isn't as accessible as it should be, according to the report, published by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana. The insurer, which works with about 90 percent of the providers in the four-parish area around the city, says that about three-fourths of the area's residents have returned, with the same percentage of primary care doctors and specialists practicing there as well.

However, with the dramatic upheaval in the area, healthcare access and referral patterns have changed dramatically, the health plan notes. For example, patients may have new primary care doctors, and it may take a while for that PCP to find them a new specialist when needed.

BCBS of Louisiana is recommending that the area develop a method of helping providers coordinate care. It's also suggesting that the region needs to find ways to pay physicians for uncompensated care, much of which has fallen to private physicians with the collapse of the region's charity care system.

To get more information on the region's health system:
- read this article from the Baton Rouge Advocate

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