LSU hospitals

One component of the Jindal administration’s 2016 budget proposal, revealed Friday, involves holding the line on spending in the public-private hospital partnerships. The private partners in the LSU hospital deals had asked for an additional $142-million in the fiscal year that starts July 1.

“What we funded these hospitals for was level funding, effectively,” Commissioner of Administration Kristy Nichols detailed to the Joint Budget Committee. “And some of the hospitals are projecting growth above level funding. That’s the point of discussion that we are going to have to work through in this process.”

When Earl K. Long Hospital closed nearly two years ago, LSU’s private partner in Baton Rouge — Our Lady of the Lake — took over patient care, but refused to take care of inmates. That meant a whole lot of scrambling for Angola Warden Burl Cain.


Gov. Bobby Jindal's revised financing plan for six LSU hospital privatization deals is running into questions from federal health officials who rejected a previous version.

The state health department on Wednesday released the three-page question letter from the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS.

Jindal privatized nearly all the LSU hospitals without waiting for federal officials to sign off on financing arrangements that rely on millions of federal Medicaid dollars.

A week ago, the federal Centers for Medicaid Services once again threw a wrench in Louisiana’s works, giving a thumbs down to the privatization of the LSU charity hospital system, which is nonetheless charging forward.

 

 


Louisiana got some bad news from the federal Center for Medicaid Services (CMS) late last Friday. CMS says “no deal” on six of the LSU hospital public-private partnerships.

“I don’t know what their issue is, but it appears that the basis for the denial is related to the means of financing—specifically as it relates to the advance lease payments,” Commissioner of Administration Kristy Nichols told the House Appropriations committee Monday.

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Governor Bobby Jindal's chief budget adviser says the administration won't reverse course on the privatization of state-owned hospitals that care for the poor and uninsured.

Federal officials have rejected the financing plans to pay for most of the privatization contracts. But Commissioner of Administration Kristy Nichols told lawmakers today that the denial won't force an adjustment in the health care model.

It’s been nearly a year since the state started implementing public-private partnerships for the LSU Hospital System, formerly known as Louisiana’s Charity Hospitals. The plan was pushed as a cost-saver for the state. How is it working out? Good for some and not so good for others—with patients and hospital caregivers caught in the middle.

Most of LSU's charity hospitals and clinics have been turned over to private managers. But federal officials still haven't decided whether they'll agree to the financing plans that are being used to pay the new hospital operators.

Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration expresses confidence that the deals will eventually gain approval from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS. The administration says that these types of complex arrangements take time.

CMS isn't talking about how far apart the two sides are in negotiating final terms.

Handshakes, hugs and thank yous marked the Oct. 1 handover of LSU Hospitals in Shreveport and Monroe to the Biomedical Research Foundation of Northwest Louisiana or BRF. Under a privatization deal pushed by the Jindal administration, BRF now manages the hospitals with 3,200 employees. BRF president Dr. John George told an overflow crowd in the Biomedical Research Institute Atrium Tuesday that it’s a new day for these north Louisiana hospitals to control their own destiny.

Lawmakers that have fought the Administration for more power in the process of privatizing the state’s charity hospitals may get their wish as they consider funding for the cost of laying off hospital workers.

According to a report by the state auditor’s office, the privatization will cost the state 42 million dollar in leave payouts and unemployment payments. 

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