Hurricane Katrina: Federal Grants Have Helped Health Care Organizations Provide Primary Care, but Challenges Remain

GAO-09-588 Published: Jul 13, 2009. Publicly Released: Jul 20, 2009.
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The greater New Orleans area--Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, and St. Bernard parishes--continues to face challenges in restoring health care services disrupted by Hurricane Katrina. In 2007, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) awarded the $100 million Primary Care Access and Stabilization Grant (PCASG) to Louisiana to help restore primary care services to the low-income population. Louisiana gave PCASG funds to 25 outpatient provider organizations in the greater New Orleans area. GAO was asked to study how the federal government can effectively leverage governmental resources to help area residents gain access to primary care services. This report examines (1) how PCASG fund recipients used the PCASG funds to support primary care services in greater New Orleans, (2) how PCASG fund recipients used and benefited from other federal hurricane relief funds that support the restoration of primary care services in the area, and (3) challenges PCASG fund recipients continued to face in providing primary care, and their plans for sustaining services after PCASG funds are no longer available.

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