LSU System charity hospitals see deep cuts - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

LSU System charity hospitals see deep cuts

A scene Thursday from the Joint Health and Welfare Committee meeting in Baton Rouge. (Source: WAFB) A scene Thursday from the Joint Health and Welfare Committee meeting in Baton Rouge. (Source: WAFB)
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BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) -

The LSU System has outlined its plan to deal with an $85 million budget shortfall and part of it involves laying off 1,500 people.

Those workers are slated to lose jobs throughout LSU's seven public hospitals.

The hardest hit will be New Orleans Interim Public Hospital, which is slated to lose 423 employees at a savings of right at $50 million.

Earl K. Long Hospital in Baton Rouge will lose 341 jobs, saving $39 million.

KPLC has heard conflicting reports about how the additional cuts will affect Walter O. Moss Regional Medical Center in Lake Charles. We're monitoring the issue and will have more during later editions.

Interim Hospital Administrator Jimmy Pottorff, however, has said that the additional cuts outlined present no change in the plan that has already been announced. He told KPLC the plan has already been underway at the facility.

A meeting between Louisiana lawmakers and LSU System officials Thursday could end with even deeper cuts being made to the university's charity hospitals and clinics across the state.

The reduction in federal Medicaid dollars is to blame. 

Most of the layoffs are expected to come in January 2013.

"Many members of the Louisiana Legislature are frustrated by the lack of information they have received regarding closures and cuts being made around the state," said House Speaker Chuck Kleckley.

He added the changes will have a major impact on the way the people of Louisiana receive healthcare.

Several LSU System officials are invited to testify at the hearing.

Gov. Bobby Jindal will not be in attendance.

He is traveling to Colorado to support a fellow Republican at a campaign event.

Copyright 2012 WAFB. All rights reserved.

 

The following is information from a Thursday news release from the LSU System, regarding the system's proposal on the cuts:

Walter O. Moss Regional Medical Center (WOM) in Lake Charles ($10,880,729 total; 64 positions): WOM will maintain inpatient services with 10 staffed beds. WOM will align emergency room security, administrative, surgical, ancillary, and administrative and support services to meet the needs of a 10-bed hospital. WOM will explore joint-ventures with private and community entities, which will enable the hospital to develop a financial partnership with private hospitals to support health services for the uninsured. The LSU system is working with WOM to mitigate the impact of the reductions on patient services by pursuing public-private partnerships in the community.

Interim LSU Public Hospital (ILH) in New Orleans ($49,067,755 total; 423 T.O.): ILH will downsize to 90 medical/surgical beds. It will maintain all of its 36 intensive care unit bed and all of its 29 psychiatric beds. ILH is working with private partners to provide additional inpatient capacity. To achieve savings, it will consolidate its surgery schedule, which will enable it to reduce the number of operating rooms from 13 to 11. The ILH Level 1 Trauma Center will continue to remain open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. ILH will also enhance its prior authorization process to better manage high-cost surgeries.

ILH will also reduce administrative costs and professional service contracts and some clinic services, including closure of a mobile clinic and a reduction in some clinic hours. As LSU has experienced reduced volume for OB/GYN related services as patients have shifted to private providers, ILH will close or reduce clinics related to those services.

ILH will explore joint-ventures with private and community entities, which will enable the hospital to develop a financial partnership with private hospitals to support health services for the uninsured. Moreover, a new state-of-the-art academic medical center is under construction in New Orleans, which will transform the delivery of health care and medical training in the region. The new UMC will operate under a new model with governance by a private non-profit board, which is working now to develop strategic partnerships to be a catalyst for biomedical innovation and promote long-term financial success of the enterprise.

Earl K. Long Hospital (EKL) in Baton Rouge ($38,690,407; 341 positions): As it begins to shift services to Our Lady of the Lake (OLOL) through an accelerated implementation of the EKL/Lake partnership agreement, EKL will consolidate operations to one floor and 15 beds. EKL will align ancillary, administrative and clinic functions to meet the needs of a 15-bed hospital, including a reduction in emergency department beds from 17 to six and closure of the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

The transition to OLOL provides an example of the flexibility offered by developing private hospital partnerships, where OLOL will offer Baton Rouge area residents access to more specialized services, including the Baton Rouge's first level one trauma center. LSU will focus on delivering outpatient care, including the construction of a state-of-the-art urgent care center in north Baton Rouge. By maximizing the resources of a local partner, medical training will be enriched and the state will avoid over $400 million in capital and operational costs.

Leonard J. Chabert Medical Center (LJC) in Houma ($14,384,483 total; 245 positions): LJC will downsize inpatient bed operations to 58 staffed beds and emergency room capacity to 12 staffed beds. It will also align clinical, surgical, ancillary and administrative services to meet the needs of a 58-bed hospital. This will include some clinic-specific capacity reductions and some service-line closures. LJC will work with a community partner to sustain residency programs. The LSU system is working with LJC to mitigate the impact of the reductions on patient services by pursuing public-private partnerships in the community.

Lallie A. Kemp Regional Medical Center (LAK) in Independence ($5,206,627 total; 95 positions): LAK will downsize inpatient bed operations to 10 staffed beds and end ICU services. It will also close some specialized clinical services while reducing clinical, surgical, ancillary and administrative services to meet the needs of a 10-bed hospital. It will also annualize savings from FY 2012. The LSU system is working with LAK to mitigate the impact of the reductions on patient services by pursuing public-private partnerships in the community.

University Medical Center (UMC) in Lafayette ($22,414,394 total; 173 positions): UMC will downsize inpatient bed operations to 10 staffed beds and end ICU services. It will eliminate medical student apartments, some contract services and some specialized clinical services. UMC will align other clinical, surgical, ancillary and administrative services to meet the needs of a 10-bed hospital. UMC will participate in LINCCA for LSU HSC physicians and annualize FY 2012 reductions. The LSU system is working with the UMC to mitigate the impact of the reductions on patient services by pursuing public-private partnerships in the community.

Bogalusa Medical Center (BMC) in Bogalusa ($11,121,098 total; 146 positions): BMC will downsize inpatient operations to 28 staffed beds and will close its 18-bed psychiatric unit. Maintaining behavioral health services has remained a top priority for the state. With nearly 2,100 psychiatric beds, Louisiana is ranked 10th in the country for total number of psychiatric beds. There are more than 100 psychiatric beds that remain in the region. It will reduce contracted services, ancillary services, some specialized clinic services, and administrative and support services. It will align surgical and intensive care capacity to meet the needs of a 28-bed hospital.  It will also annualize FY 12 savings and participate in LINCCA for obstetric physicians and certified registered nurse anesthetists to realize FY 13 savings. The LSU system is working with BMC to mitigate the impact of the reductions on patient services by pursuing public-private partnerships in the community.

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