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Panelist Bio


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.

Current Topic


07/14 - Defining “Dangerous”

How does Louisiana determine if someone is a danger to themselves or others?

Special Presentation


Breaking Away:  A Louisiana Public Square Special Presentation

Would the breakaway City of St. George quash Baton Rouge’s school desegregation progress?

Coming Soon!


08/14 - Down the Road: Our Transportation Future

What should the state’s transportation priorities be?

Recent Topics


06/14 - Pot or Not? The Decriminalization Debate (Encore Presentation)

Would a reduction in penalties encourage more usage and lead the state down a path to legalization?


05/14 - Job Market 2014

What does Louisiana’s employment market look like for job hunters in 2014?


04/14 - State Contracts 101

Will proposed legislation help rein in costs or create arbitrary caps that hinder agencies in delivering services?


03/14 - Louisiana and The Minimum Wage

Should Louisiana develop its own minimum wage?

»»» View all Topics!
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