The private managers of LSU hospitals talked Tuesday night of successes since their takeover as they lobbied for legislative help in coming up with nearly $600 million to fund operations.
The newly-created Alliance of Partnership Hospitals took its case to the state Senate Health and Welfare Committee, with hospital officials talking about the dire consequences of failure to close the budget gap.
The Jindal administration’s proposed budget is between $300 million and $400 million shy of the revenues required for a standstill budget for the public- private partnership. It would translate into a 33 percent cut. Jindal relies on legislators passing a series of tax law changes to fund his budget.
In addition, the budget proposal does not provide for $159 million in additional funding the partners say they need to care for the poor and uninsured in the fiscal year that begins July 1. That number has risen from the original $142 million projected by the eight hospitals as Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge upped its requirements.
“Certainly all partners are going to be in a very difficult situation if these monies don’t come through,” said David Callecod, the president and chief executive officer at Lafayette General Health.
Callecod said the hospitals can’t operate with a 33 percent budget cut. And if hospitals don’t get the additional dollars requested, “it’s going to result in service reductions,” he said.
Committee chairman state Sen. David Heitmeier, D-New Orleans, asked if anyone knew of any healthcare financing mechanism on the horizon that would benefit the hospitals. No one knew of any.
Operators of the Shreveport and Monroe hospitals will “play with whatever cards are dealt us,” said Stephen Skrvanos, chairman of the board of the Biomedical Research Foundation. But, he added, “hospitals seem to fair better in states where there has been Medicaid expansion.”