LSU Projects Impact of Hospital Budget Cuts

BATON ROUGE—Inpatient beds would be sharply reduced, operating rooms closed and mental health services slashed if $24.5 million in pending budget cuts are imposed on the seven hospitals that make up the LSU Health Care Services Division (LSUHCSD).

“These cutbacks come on top of the already significant cuts made this year to live within our budget,” said Dr. Fred Cerise, LSU System Vice President for Health Affairs and Medical Education.  “Any additional reductions would necessarily cause us to eliminate many essential services.”

When other sources of reimbursement,including federal matching funds are included, the total cuts, if enacted, would result in an estimated loss of more than $80 million to HCSD.

In a requested report to the Senate Finance Committee, projecting a 10 percent reduction scenario if the House version of the proposed Executive Budget that chops one-time money from thespending plan is approved, LSUHCSD potential cuts chiefly consist of closing psychiatric units at four hospitals, including the Interim LSU Hospital in New Orleans.  Cuts also include closing Mental Health Emergency Room Extension units in New Orleans, Lafayette, and Baton Rouge.

Click to read the LSUHCSD Budget Cut Scenario

In addition, the interim hospital would close two operating rooms, its OB/GYN, diabetes, and Bayou District Community clinics along with two school-based health clinics.

At the Earl K. Long Medical Center in Baton Rouge, inpatient, emergency department, and intensive care beds would be significantly reduced while the University Medical Center in Lafayette would lose HIV and ophthalmology services as well as its orthopedic clinic.

The W.O. Moss Medical Center in Lake Charles would see a delay in implementing the first phase of its electronic radiology records system, postponement of needed building maintenance, and the elimination of rheumatology services.

At Lallie Kemp Medical Center in Independence, ophthalmology, podiatry, disease management, and cardiology services would end.  The number of physicians working at the hospital would be reduced.

And at the Leonard J. Chabert Medical Center in Houma, orthopedics and the psychiatric unit would be closed.

The Bogalusa Medical Center, meanwhile, would lose its inpatient psychiatric unit, see a reduction in outpatient specialty care clinics and see a closure of inpatient beds.

Other spending reduction measures, if necessary, could include cuts in graduate medical education programs, oncology services, and overall emergency services at all seven hospitals.

“All of our hospitals have a demand for services that currently exceeds our capacity to deliver,” said Dr. Cerise.   “These cuts only exacerbate the stresses on our already overburdened system, making it tougher to provide medical services to our thousands of patients.”

About LSUHCSD

The Health Care Services Division of LSU Health is one of the largest public health care delivery systems in the country.  It has over 37,000 inpatient admissions, 191,000 inpatient days, 576,000 outpatient clinic visits, 1,068,000 outpatient encounters, and 269,000 emergency department visits.  Each year more than 1200 residents and fellows from the LSU and Tulane Schools of Medicine and Ochsner Health System and 3,200 nurses and allied health students from many colleges and universities are trained in LSUHCSD facilities.

For further information, contact Marvin McGraw at LSUHCSD, 225-9221424 (mmcgra@lsuhsc.edu), or Charles Zewe, LSU System Vice President for Communication, 225-578-3941 (czewe@lsu.edu).