Regional Medical Center of Acadiana could reopen as Lafayette General Southwest as early as November, Lafayette General Health CEO David Callecod said Thursday — a day after the announcement of the acquisition deal.
Meanwhile, technology staff will work to transition the southwest hospital to Lafayette General’s electronic medical record system, and an analysis will be done to decide which services and programs to offer and expand at the hospital, Callecod said.
“It’s way too early to sort of project what services we may or may not have. An analysis is being done now by a third party that we’ve used in all our acquisitions,” Callecod said. “This acquisition is adding quality programs to Lafayette General.”
The process of acquiring the hospital began about a year ago, with the details ironed out over the past six to eight months, Callecod said. The hospital is owned by HCA MidAmerica, a division of the Nashville, Tennessee-based Hospital Corporation of America. Its sister institutions in Lafayette are Lafayette Surgicare and Women’s and Children’s Hospital, which will remain under the HCA MidAmerica umbrella.
Callecod said he envisions the facility as a “southwest post” for Lafayette General Medical Center, which is landlocked in its Oil Center location. The hospital has spent millions to renovate its facility and most recently expanded its surgery and emergency departments, setting the hospital closer to a Level II trauma center designation.
“This calendar year, we’ll become a Level II trauma center,” Callecod said. “We knew in order for us to do that and do it well, we needed to create capacity. Patients from the Atchafalaya Basin to the Texas border will be arriving here in Lafayette as we become a Level II trauma center. It’s really going to allow us to proceed on our vision of being the center for high-acuity care in southwest Louisiana.”
An analysis of Lafayette General Medical Center conducted in fall 2014 showed the hospital needed between 100 to 150 additional beds. Lafayette General Medical Center has 365 beds, and the analysis showed that by 2024, the hospital would need 493. That’s an increase of 128 beds — the number of licensed beds at Regional Medical Center of Acadiana.
Callecod would not disclose financial details of the deal, but he said it was more financially feasible to acquire the hospital than to build a new 100- to 150-bed tower at the LGMC site at cost estimates ranging from $60 million to $150 million.
“This transaction for us is fiscally prudent, because it’s a fraction of what that cost would have been to build on the main campus,” Callecod said.
The acquisition signals Lafayette General Health’s continued growth in the Acadiana market, with its property and assets valued at more than $450 million. In the past few years, the health system has secured agreements to either own or manage five other hospitals in Lafayette and the region, including Lafayette General Surgical Hospital, St. Martin Hospital, University Hospital & Clinics (formerly University Medical Center), Acadia General Hospital and Abrom Kaplan Memorial Hospital.
The health system’s operational takeover of the former University Medical Center, a teaching hospital, has allowed Lafayette General Medical Center to also provide graduate medical education.
That growth also has led to a demand for services at its main campus, Callecod said. As Lafayette General Health has grown into a system, it’s provided support to its partner hospitals to “ensure that they are successful as possible,” he said.
“What’s resulted from that is those patients who need higher-acuity care, more of those patients from those outlying areas are choosing to come to Lafayette General” Callecod said. “That’s driven growth in every single one of our programs.”
He said the hospital finds itself dealing with capacity issues four to five days a week and that the situation needed to be addressed.
Callecod and members of his leadership team met with Regional Medical Center of Acadiana’s nearly 300 employees Wednesday afternoon to provide them with information about the acquisition and about employment opportunities as the deal moves forward. The hospital employees will need to go through an application process, though Callecod said the intention is to help each employee transition to a job.
“Our HR teams began today working through the list of jobs and putting a plan together for placing those jobs on our website, but every individual there will have first priority for those jobs as we post them,” he said. “Not only do the employees have opportunity at Lafayette General Southwest, but today there are almost 230 open positions within Lafayette General Health system, so there could be opportunities for them to advance or seek new positions within our system.”
Officials with Regional Medical Center of Acadiana said no comments outside of a press release issued by HCA MidAmerica would be released at this time. The statement said the sale will allow HCA MidAmerica to focus on operating Women’s & Children’s Hospital and Lafayette Surgicare.
Follow Marsha Sills on Twitter, @Marsha_Sills.