WRKF

Dr. Rebekah Gee

Louisiana has struck a deal with a pharmaceutical company to provide Hepatitis C treatment to the state's Medicaid patients and prisoners.

Managing Medicaid Contracts

Nov 3, 2017
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Louisiana’s Joint Budget Committee meets today to vote on two-year contract extensions for the state’s Medicaid-managed care organizations.

“Why two years? Because we have made dramatic changes to these contracts, not just tweaks,” Health Secretary Rebekah Gee explained when lawmakers began debating the extensions two weeks ago.


Seeking Ways to Afford "Miracle" Cures

Jul 11, 2017
Sue Lincoln

Often referred to as “miracle drugs”, the ads for new medications are almost inescapable.

But the newer medications don’t come cheap.

“Prime example of that is Hepatitis C, where we have about 70-thousand individuals in our state. Only 320 of those individuals got drug treatment last year,” State Health Secretary Dr. Rebekah Gee told the Baton Rouge Press Club. 

Sculpting the Budget

May 1, 2017
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After several weeks of examining the material they have to work with, the House Appropriations Committee begins sculpting the budget bill today. It’s clear they intend to use their chisels now, rather than later.


Dr. Rebekah Gee, Louisiana's Secretary of Health, talks with us about the uncertain future of the Affordable Care Act, the state’s reliance on the federal Medicaid provision, the dangers of additional budget cuts to the state's largest agency.


Health Care Budget: 'Big is Federal'

Apr 7, 2017
Sue Lincoln

Nearly half the $29.7-billion proposed state budget is recommended for spending by Louisiana’s Department of Health.

“Yes, it’s big, because we’re a poor state,” Department of Health Secretary Dr. Rebekah Gee told members of a House Appropriations sub-committee this week. “And when you talk about big, don’t lose sight that ‘big’ is federal.”


Louisiana’s senior Senator, Republican Bill Cassidy, presented a possible replacement plan for the Affordable Care Act Monday. 


Department leaders sat in front of the House Appropriations Committee Wednesday, as Legislators continue taking an early look at next fiscal year’s budget. 


Caution Flags Being Waved Ahead of Inauguration

Jan 11, 2016
Wallis Watkins

Even before he’s sworn in as governor at noon today, John Bel Edwards is having to defend some of his leadership staff selections, beginning with the re-appointment of Col. Mike Edmonson as Superintendent of Louisiana State Police.

Erstwhile supporters of Edwards took to social media to question the choice as soon as it was announced, while reporters asked Edwards if he’d been pressured by the Sheriff’s Association.

“Colonel Edmonson enjoys the support of local law enforcement across the state, not just the Sheriff’s Association but the Chiefs of Police,” Edwards responded. “And the executive directors of both of those entities did reach out to me and express their confidence in him and their desire that he continue to serve in this capacity.”

Medical Director for Medicaid to Head DHH

Jan 6, 2016
Sue Lincoln

Governor-elect John Bel Edwards named more cabinet-level officials Tuesday, including Dr. Rebekah Gee to head the Department of Health and Hospitals. A physician and the current Medicaid Medical Director for the state, Gee says she’s aware of the challenges ahead.

“We have just fallen to 50th in the ranking of United Health rankings, the worst state in the nation,” she noted, adding, “We believe we can do better.”

She points to Medicaid expansion as the first step in a better direction.