Baton Rouge General - Mid City held a series of meetings with employees Tuesday morning to reassure staffers that the campus would remain open, although the Emergency Room will close at the end of the month.
Meanwhile, a community meeting to discuss the issue is set for 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at Star Hill Baptist Church, 1400 N. Foster Drive. Officials from the state Department of Health and Hospitals, the General, Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center, Lane Regional Medical Center, Ochsner Health System and the Baton Rouge Area Foundation are scheduled to participate.
Baton Rouge General officials have said Mid City, which features one of the state's two burn units, will remain open. The General has not disclosed how many beds will remain at the Mid City campus or how many Mid City staffers will lose jobs because of the ER's closure.
The General announced it would close the Mid City ER in early February. The ER's losses had ballooned from $1 million a month in 2013 to more than $2 million a month.
Mid City treated many of the uninsured and underinsured patients displaced when the state closed Earl K. Long Medical Center in 2013. The ER treated 45,000 patients in 2014, but only 20 percent of those visits involved life-threatening conditions. The Jindal administration has said the non-emergency patients can be treated at urgent care clinics.
DHH Secretary Kathy Kliebert has said local hospitals have enough capacity to absorb the additional emergency-room load. DHH is also expanding hours at its urgent care clinics, and the Lake has said it will expand clinic access to help.