BATON ROUGE, LA, March 19, 2021 – Two of Louisiana’s leading healthcare organizations with strong reputations for delivering high quality care are coming together to enhance healthcare services for women in Greater Baton Rouge and throughout Louisiana with a focus on improved outcomes, leading technology and enhanced innovation. Louisiana Women’s Healthcare (LWH) has signed a definitive agreement to become part of Ochsner Health (Ochsner), paving the way for enhanced digital offerings and greater convenience for the 70,000 women LWH cares for each year in the Greater Baton Rouge region.
“As we have worked through the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve recognized the importance of collaborating with organizations that have similar missions to deliver the best in high quality care to patients. Our patients today, more than ever, want to experience the latest in telehealth offerings and digital medicine tools. Our patients want online scheduling, telehealth appointments and ease of access to their medical records, and we want to meet and exceed those expectations,” said Jay Parenton, M.D., LWH physician and finance chair. “Working with Ochsner will allow us to provide these important services to our patients on their nationally recognized electronic health record system. Ochsner’s innovative approaches also strengthen the work we are doing to ensure the health and well-being of the women in the communities we serve.”
LWH is the largest private practice dedicated to women’s healthcare in Louisiana, delivering more than 5,000 babies and conducting over 150,000 in-person patient visits in 2020. A part of Ochsner Health, LWH patients will continue to receive the same high quality care they have come to know and expect from their trusted LWH physician, and all deliveries, surgeries and patient appointments will continue on the campus of Woman’s Hospital.
“LWH and Ochsner share core values and a common philosophy,” said Kim Sangari, who will continue in her role as LWH CEO. “We now have a new work family who shares our passion for serving women. It is beneficial to both organizations, as we’ll be able to easily share resources as we navigate through challenges and opportunities together.”
Partnering with Ochsner, LWH will be better positioned for the future as it implements the telehealth and digital medicine tools that patients seek in today’s healthcare environment. An immediate benefit for both patients and physicians will be the implementation of Ochsner’s electronic health record platform, Epic, a nationally recognized electronic health record system. LWH patients will be able to use the patient portal, MyOchsner, to easily schedule appointments, communicate with their doctors, request prescription refills and view visit summaries, lab and imaging results from their laptop, tablet or smart phone. In 2020, Ochsner Health conducted 326,000 telehealth visits and patients scheduled more than 600,000 appointments online. LWH will soon begin transitioning to Epic, and patients should have access to MyChart by fall 2021.
“We are excited to work with Louisiana Women’s Healthcare, an organization with outstanding physicians and a strong reputation of caring for women in greater Baton Rouge. Together, we will be able to grow, expand access to coordinated care and bring even greater value to patients,” said Warner Thomas, President and CEO, Ochsner Health. “Our missions are aligned to improve the health and lives of women in the Baton Rouge community and across the entire state of Louisiana. This partnership is another example of Ochsner’s growth, investment and commitment to the people of Baton Rouge.”
Enhancing access and improving health outcomes for women in Louisiana is a priority for both organizations. In November 2020, Ochsner Health announced its long-term vision to improve the overall health of the state and move to 40th nationally by 2030 in health rankings with a comprehensive strategy to enhance healthcare access, improve health equity and health outcomes.
“While there are many reasons for this partnership, the most important is that we will be better together. Ochsner’s vision to improve our state’s health rankings is valuable to the women of Louisiana, and we share this commitment to change,” said Michael Perniciaro, M.D., LWH President and Chairman-elect. “Our physicians will begin working together with Ochsner to create better outcomes statewide.”
One example of the digital health programs LWH will be able to offer is Ochsner’s Connected Maternity Online Monitoring program, known as Connected MOM. This service helps expectant mothers manage their pregnancy from the comfort of their own home. Patients can use their smartphone to easily send their weight and blood pressure readings in real-time to their OB care team. By staying connected virtually, this gives a mother-to-be’s care team the ability to recognize trends or issues earlier and ensures connected and ongoing prenatal care. The program also ensures that moms have connected and ongoing prenatal care. Ochsner has welcomed nearly 3,000 babies since the program launched, with 950 currently enrolled.
“We are excited to welcome the physicians of LWH to the Ochsner family. Together, we’ll be able to expand and enhance telehealth capabilities and other services to the women of greater Baton Rouge and throughout the state,” said Jody Morris, M.D., Women’s Services System Co-Chair, Ochsner Health. “We will also work closely with LWH physicians to help patients establish more connections to primary and specialty care, so they are able to benefit from a more seamless patient experience, no matter their healthcare needs.”
Current insurance coverage will continue to be accepted for LWH providers and services. Patients may notice a new look for LWH, as the organization will be co-branded with Ochsner to reflect the new partnership.
LWH Physicians Share Excitement for the Future
“I’ve been practicing medicine for over four decades. For the growth we expect to see over the next decade, it will be a marathon and not a sprint. Our partnership with Ochsner is a wise leap forward in the right direction. It means more value and a better experience for the women we have the honor of serving.”
“Our patients will continue to receive same high quality, personalized care as we have always provided,” said Frank Breaux, M.D., who worked with his partners to form LWH in 1997. “The biggest change is that we will work directly with Ochsner to bring more advanced information technology to our patients.”
“We love our patients. We want to continually give them the best care and the best experience possible. We chose a partner who shares our commitment to women’s healthcare. Ochsner offers advanced health information technology that delivers results for the patient and tools that will make us more effective as physicians. Together, we will grow and continue to innovate. I am excited about the possibilities.”
“We started talking with Ochsner about the possibilities of sharing information technology. As I got to know Dr. Morris, it was clear that the real potential is for us to be fully partnered and work together for advances in obstetrics and gynecology that will improve patient outcomes and reduce costs. We were on the same page from the start, and now we’re on the same team.”
Scheduling an appointment or preparing for your next visit at Louisiana Women’s Healthcare has never been easier. Learn more about our new Patient Portal, MyOchsner.