INTERVIEW OF MIKE REITZ, PRESIDENT AND CEO OF BLUE CROSS, BLUE SHIELD OF LOUISIANA
The current landscape of health care in Louisiana is rapid change. In part, this is due to the passing of the controversial health care law and now, the U.S. Supreme Court’s possible finding that the law is unconstitutional. There are other changes being made in the industry due to shortages of physicians, the rising costs and the advent of electronic medical records.
Recently, Bayoubuzz interviewed Mike Reitz, the President and CEO of Blue Cross, Blue Shield of Louisiana and discussed these issues. Last week, Blue Cross held a summit entitled “Pathway to the Future” in Baton Rouge on Tues., Dec. 6, with leading healthcare experts to discuss the Patient-Centered Medical Home delivery model.
JINDAL APPOINTS WILDLIFE AND FISHERIES
On Tuesday, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal announced appointments to the Wildlife and Fisheries Commission.
The Wildlife and Fisheries Commission was created to protect, conserve, and replenish the natural resources and wildlife of the state, including all aquatic life. The commission has the authority to establish definite management programs and policies and to approve and accept all contracts at its discretion.
Appointments to the Wildlife and Fisheries Commission:
Pat Manuel, of Eunice, is the President and Owner of Manco Vegetation Management and former President of X-Ray Inspection Inc. Manuel will be appointed to serve as a member from the state at-large, as required by statute.
Billy Broussard, of Pecan Island, is the Owner and Operator of Pecan Island Redfish Charters. Broussard will be reappointed to serve as a resident of the coastal parishes of the state who is a representative of the commercial fishing and fur industries, as required by statute.
NEW ORLEANS MOVES UP AS "BEST CITIES FOR BUSINESS"
On Tuesday, The Wall Street Journal’s Marketwatch released its 2011 “Best Cities for Business” list, a survey analyzing 102 metro areas in the country. This year, the New Orleans region made the largest gain of any metro on the list, rising 44 positions, from 77th in 2010 to 33rd in 2011. As recently as 2009, the region was in the bottom 10 of the list. In compiling the rankings, the publication compares 15 criteria which fall into one of two general categories: economic stability and company concentration.
“Being named #1 most improved metro in the country by The Wall Street Journal is a great validation of our efforts as a community,” said Michael Hecht, President and CEO of Greater New Orleans, Inc. “We are particularly pleased that this top ranking was based on independent statistical analysis, which then supports the story we are witnessing everyday on the street.”
The publication cites multiple reasons for Greater New Orleans’ rapid climb on the list. Notably, the New Orleans region ranked first in long-term personal-income growth and in the top quarter of cities for short-term personal-income growth. Some other positive factors included recent changes to the methodology, which now includes tourism activities, a major industry for the area. Additionally, the area ranked 15th in economic output and tied for 16th in unemployment rate. Also helping the region’s overall financial health is a comparatively low cost of doing business in the area, combined with a recent rise in small business activity and entrepreneurship.
The full “Best Cities for Business” story can be found here.
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