Tuesday, January 27, 2009

State returned hospital money before asking for it

The Times-Picayune, September 27th, 2005 (only as pdf, sorry):


The Department of Health and Hospitals has declined the bulk of $352 million in disaster assistance handed to the state by the Federal Emergency Management Agency late last week, with agency officials saying that they spent only about $10 million during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

The $352 million showed up in a list of projects approved by FEMA totaling $457 million, which was deposited by the federal government last week in the state of Louisiana’s bank account. But the state health department has taken only the roughly $10 million that it is entitled to so far, said Bob Johannessen, the spokesman for the agency.

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While the federal dollars are beginning to pour in, some agencies are still waiting for help. Officials with the Louisiana State University Health Services Division, which runs the Charity Hospital System, expect that they will eventually be asking the federal government to pick up about $625 million of their interim costs as they try to rebuild the public hospital system in New Orleans after the storm.


Literally, the DHH returned to FEMA approximately $342 million that was sitting in state bank accounts ready to be spent to restore emergency medical infrastructure to New Orleans. How ironic is it that the LSUHSD's current shortfall on their megahospitalstrosity sits at just about $342 million? That's the current discrepancy between state and FEMA estimates for Charity's reimbursement cost.

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