LSU hospitals join public-private partnerships to balance budget

Louisiana will outsource virtually all of its inpatient safety net care, turning over the operations of  LSU hospitals to private operators, reported the Associated Press.

Ochsner Health System, one of the state's largest private hospital entities, will manage the LSU Hospital in Houma and the L.J. Chabert Medical Center in conjunction with the Terrebone General Medical Center.

The Louisiana Children's Medical Center, which operates Children's Hospital and Touro Infirmary, will lease the Interim LSU Public Hospital in New Orleans and the 424-bed University Medical Center when it opens in 2015. 

Lafayette General Health System will operate the LSU hospital in Lafayette, the University Medical Center and its clinics, according to the AP.

The privatization plan would help the hospitals avoid severe budget cutbacks, according to the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals. Gov. Bobby Jindal cut more than $300 million from the LSU healthcare system's budget after federal Medicaid payments were reduced.

"These partnerships keep core services intact and offer exciting opportunities to enhance both patient care and medical education," Health and Hospitals Secretary Bruce Greenstein said Monday in a statement.

Under the arrangement, the private operators will pay the state to run the LSU hospitals. No specific financial details were yet available, but the organizations have put up an initial $30 million, the AP noted.

To learn more:
- check out the AP article
- here's the Department of Health and Hospitals statement