David Hood Senior Healthcare Policy Analyst
Public Affairs Research Council
Mr. Hood’s areas of focus include coverage for the uninsured, the charity hospital system, Medicaid financing and budget, financing and delivery of mental health care, the long-term care system and other topic areas.
David Hood served as cabinet secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH) for six years from 1998-2004. He retired in 2004 from a 26-year career in public healthcare administration. Well-respected as a reform-minded government administrator, Mr. Hood developed strategies for more efficient use of tax dollars by minimizing waste and fraud, deploying new technologies and utilizing private sector solutions wherever possible.
During Mr. Hood’s tenure as Secretary, DHH achieved a number of far-reaching reforms, including introduction of the highly successful Louisiana Children’s Health Insurance Program that expanded numbers of low-income children with health care coverage from 320,000 in 1998 to 620,000 by 2003.. Today more than 90 percent of low-income children in Louisiana have health coverage.
Another key reform was a large-scale reorganization of Louisiana Medicaid to assure access to primary medical care for children and adults. An existing program with 40,000 enrollees in rural parishes was redesigned in 2001 and expanded statewide. By 2003 more than 1,600 primary care physicians were providing medical homes for 700,000 Medicaid recipients, including 600,000 children. The program, called Medicaid CommunityCARE, enables patients to select a physician of their choice who will be responsible for all aspects of primary and preventive care, as well as coordination of inpatient and specialty treatment. The program improves health outcomes and saves money by avoiding unnecessary hospitalization and emergency room visits.
Mr. Hood is an alumnus of Louisiana State University. He also served in the U.S. Air Force officer corps.
What are the programs and initiatives helping our veterans successfully transition to civilian life?
Since 2001, 2.6 million service men and women have been deployed to support operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Twenty-six percent of Louisiana’s veterans fought in these conflicts. The needs for these veterans are plentiful including securing employment and housing, and dealing with the mental rigors of transitioning from military back to civilian life.
Louisiana Public Square explores the unique programs and initiatives that are helping our state’s younger veterans successfully overcome these challenges on “Louisiana Veterans Back Home” Wednesday, October 24 at 7 p.m. on LPB and in New Orleans on WLAE. (Recording Thursday, October 18.)
Veterans Coming Home is a collaborative, multi-platform public media project between Wisconsin Public Television and Kindling Group in partnership with local stations and other national organizations. Veterans Coming Home is made possible with support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.