Hurricane Katrina: Trends in the Operating Results of Five Hospitals in New Orleans before and after Hurricane Katrina

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Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "New Orleans faces many challenges in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina including the challenge of reestablishing the health care system and hospitals within the system. Hurricane Katrina, which made landfall on August 29, 2005, and the subsequent flooding caused by the failure of the New Orleans levee systems, resulted in the sudden closure, damage, or disruption in services at many of the New Orleans hospitals. On August 1, 2007, officials representing five New Orleans hospitals that have been the main health care providers in the region since the ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. July 17, 2008.

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Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "New Orleans faces many challenges in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina including the challenge of reestablishing the health care system and hospitals within the system. Hurricane Katrina, which made landfall on August 29, 2005, and the subsequent flooding caused by the failure of the New Orleans levee systems, resulted in the sudden closure, damage, or disruption in services at many of the New Orleans hospitals. On August 1, 2007, officials representing five New Orleans hospitals that have been the main health care providers in the region since the hurricane, testified before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce's Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. The officials stated that since the hurricane they have experienced significant operating losses and that they expect the losses to continue. The official from one of the hospitals that was designated to present an overview of the specific problems facing the five hospitals stated in his testimony that the hospitals expected to experience a combined operating loss of $135 million in calendar year 2007. This operating loss estimate was calculated using operating revenue and expense amounts for all five hospitals for January through May 2007 and then annualized for the year. The official also testified that the combined operating loss for the five hospitals would equal $405 million by 2009. The hospital official cited several reasons for operating losses, including increased labor costs and Medicare reimbursements that do not take into account the increased labor costs since the hurricane. The hospital official appealed to Congress for additional federal financial assistance. The subcommittee asked us to review the extent to which Hurricane Katrina adversely affected the hospitals' operating results. To that end, Congress asked us to analyze 1) the operating results of the five hospitals before and after Hurricane Katrina and 2) the factors contributing to changes in hospital operating results and whether those factors would have a continuing impact."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • July 17, 2008

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  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Hurricane Katrina: Trends in the Operating Results of Five Hospitals in New Orleans before and after Hurricane Katrina, text, July 17, 2008; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc299533/: accessed July 15, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.