Nursing home operators charged in patient deaths

Louisiana authorities charged the operators of a nursing home in New Orleans in the deaths of 34 elderly patients entrusted to their care. Mable and Salvador Magano, the owners of St. Rita's Nursing Home, turned themselves in to authorities and were charged with 34 counts of criminally negligent homicide. Nearly all of the patients at the home died on August 29 as rising flood waters swamped the one-story facility. Officials say the couple had adequate advance warning but failed to evacuate.

- see this story from the Times-Picayune

PLUS: Facing an exodus of local medical talent, Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco has suspended licensing rules to make it easier for doctors and other medical professionals to practice. Story

ALSO: Officials said Louisiana has denied or cut Medicaid benefits for 750 people in the two weeks since Katrina struck, The Wall Street Journal reports. Story (sub. req.)