By MELINDA DESLATTE
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - The first three LSU hospital privatization deals appear to use up 94% of the funding Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration set aside for eight such arrangements.
That was the assessment Friday of the Legislative Fiscal Office, a nonpartisan office that provided an update to the Senate Finance Committee about concerns with the 2013-14 budget.
Jindal is seeking to privatize the operations of most LSU-run safety net hospitals that care for the poor and uninsured.
The governor's budget recommendations assumed 8 of 10 LSU hospitals would be privatized, and the House didn't make any changes to those assumptions. Three contracts have been signed.
Health department undersecretary Jerry Phillips says administration officials are aware of the budget gap and have identified funding that could draw down federal Medicaid money to fill it.
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