Overview of the LSU System
Health Care Delivery and Reform
The LSU Health System consists of the Health Sciences Center in Shreveport, which also operates three hospitals and clinics, the Health Sciences Center in New Orleans and the Health Care Services Division, which operates seven public hospitals and clinics.
The Health Sciences Centers in New Orleans and Shreveport supply the majority of the state’s medical workforce, training over 1,000 medical residents and 2,000 students annually in nine medical, dental, nursing, public health, graduate and allied health schools.
LSU’s Health Sciences Centers, hospitals and clinics are economic engines for the state with annual operating budgets over $2 billion and another $2.6 billion generated in additional economic development activity.
LSU Health System is one of the largest employers in the state with over 14,000 faculty, doctors, nurses and staff.
The two health sciences centers generate approximately $70 million annually in academic research funding
LSU is a leader in modern health care delivery with an integrated, coordinated system of care among 10 public hospitals and over 500 primary and specialty clinics that link resident training with cost-effective patient care.
The LSU Health System provides primary and preventive care with 1.5 million outpatient visits per year compared to 360,000 ER visits and a chronic disease management program with 20,000 patients LSU hospitals consistently perform at or well above state and national averages on quality benchmark measures. Patient satisfaction rankings at LSU hospitals, in fact, are above national norms as reflected in independent survey data.
On a fiscal note, LSU hospitals have lower inflationary growth than the general Medicaid program and comparable costs to other academic medical centers and public hospitals.
The impact of Hurricane Katrina highlighted the need for better coordination and disaster management, leading to the creation of the LSU System Office of Health Affairs and Medical Education, which now consolidates reporting between the hospitals and LSU’s two medical schools.
As a result, the Health Affairs office is actively working on plans to eliminate inefficiencies, centralize administrative services and identify services that can be shared. Governance is being streamlined and there is clearer communication among all LSU health care units.
Equally significant is that centralization of key services among LSU hospitals, such as IT, Facilities and Supply Chain, Human Resources and Billing, is leading to an increased leveraging of resources at reduced costs. Efforts are underway to stringently eliminate duplicate services and trim the number of employees to more effectively meet performance goals and quality care targets.
What do LSU hospitals do to control their costs? LSU has been challenged with limited budget resources and limited net revenue growth for years. As a result, LSU Health has developed many cost saving innovations and procedures. The list below reflects the most significant cost saving measures:
- Management of admissions and length of stay. The hospitals use updated criteria to determine admission and length of stay.
- Disease management programs. These programs for people with chronic conditions reduce avoidable hospital admissions and provide better health outcomes. With over 20,000 patients enrolled, quality measures for these patients exceed national benchmark standards.
- Pharmaceutical patient assistance programs. By maximizing pharmaceutical industry patient assistance programs, LSU saves patients over $60 million per year in drugs provided free or at nominal cost.
- Federal 340(b) pharmacy programs. By establishing an outpatient pharmacy and qualifying for special federal price incentives, costs for both in-hospital and outpatient drugs are substantially lower saving the state $14 million per year.
- Clinic expansion. LSU has expanded to six, the number of community and school-based clinics operating in New Orleans. Additionally, a large multi-specialty clinic opened in the former Lord and Taylor Department Store after Hurricane Katrina. In Baton Rouge, a new outpatient clinic is scheduled to open in May, 2009 and an outpatient surgical center opened in 2008. Because these clinics are most cost-effective, they help reduce emergency room visits and hospital admissions.
- Establish the LSU Health System as a certified medical home providing coordinated care for patients. Chabert Medical Center in Houma is the first NCQA-certified medical home in Louisiana (November, 2008). As well, the following clinics of Interim LSU Hospitals achieved NCQA recognition for Physician Practice Connections – Patient Centered Medical Home: Murray Henderson, Jackson Barracks, Martin Behrman, LSU Medicine, New Orleans East, Frederick Douglass, and HIV HOP Community Clinic (February, 2009).