Hoping to rebuild services that were cut or reduced after Hurricane Katrina, Louisiana State University officials have asked state legislators for more than $200 million above and beyond the existing state budget. Services went away, in part, because Katrina-related flooding closed New Orleans-based Charity Hospital, which provided a wide range of services to poor and uninsured. More than half of the money, about $122 million, would be used to rebuild the still-devastated New Orleans-area healthcare system. New Orleans-related funding would be used to reopen closed specialty clinics, create 43 psychiatric beds at the former DePaul Hospital and add staff to support 116 med/surg beds at University Hospital. In addition, LSU would use $22 million for IT upgrades, including the development of EMRs, and $11 million to provide raises for state employees. If LSU's request is approved, one-third of the money would come from the state, while the other two-thirds would be contributed by federal matching funds.
To get more background on the LSU request:
- read this article from The Times-Picayune