The Baton Rouge market suffers from a high poverty rate and low health literacy, making the populace vulnerable to hospitalization during the COVID-19 pandemic. The market continues to have a scarcity of primary-care physicians, but telehealth initiatives have taken off amid the national public health emergency and are likely to remain, possibly alleviating some access issues. Ochsner Health— the top system statewide—is expanding throughout the region and could present a challenge to market leader Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System. Expect these two integrated delivery networks to use value-based care to demonstrate their ability to provide cost-effective services while improving health outcomes, especially in specialties such as cardiology and bariatric surgery. Health plans also drive value-based care, offering bundled-payment models and accountable care organizations, while drug companies could feel the impact from Louisiana Medicaid’s switch to a single preferred drug list.

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