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LSU reaches agreement with Baton Rouge hospital; will close Earl K. Long

Published: Monday, January 25, 2010, 1:00 PM     Updated: Monday, January 25, 2010, 1:00 PM
The Associated Press

fred-cerise.JPGDr. Fred Cerise
A proposal to make Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center the new home for LSU's medical education and hospital services in Baton Rouge is complete.

Our Lady of the Lake would become LSU's Baton Rouge-based teaching hospital, after the university shelved plans to build a replacement for the outdated Earl K. Long Medical Center.

LSU System Vice President Fred Cerise says the partnership agreement will go to the LSU Board of Supervisors for approval Friday. Scott Wester, chief executive officer of the medical center known as The Lake, agreed.

Wester's board also must signoff on the agreement. And the Legislature's joint budget committee also must endorse it.

The deal would result in the closure -- probably by 2014 -- of the Earl K. Long hospital.


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rayfromuptn January 25, 2010 at 1:09PM

Why can't New Orleans take the hint and have privately run hospitals teaching new students instead of this tax-payer subsidized scheme LSU wants.

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anybutbush January 25, 2010 at 1:33PM

you meant the way it works at Tulane Medical School and Tulne Hospital??

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comical1 January 25, 2010 at 2:12PM

Old Uncle Earl (Long) must be rolling over in his grave at the word that his namesake hospital will be closing.

Hopefully, the OLOL (Our Lady of the Lake) scheme will work out just fine for the patrons of the proposed LSU's Baton Rouge-based teaching hospital who now go to Earl K. Long.

Best of luck !

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simon January 25, 2010 at 2:35PM

"Hopefully, the OLOL (Our Lady of the Lake) scheme will work out just fine for the patrons of the proposed LSU's Baton Rouge-based teaching hospital who now go to Earl K. Long. "

I didn't see anything about the charity hospital provisions being carried over to the new agreement. What I saw was: "Our Lady of the Lake would become LSU's Baton Rouge-based teaching hospital" , which is to train medical students.

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patriot70806 January 25, 2010 at 2:42PM

I certainly hope the charity hospital provisions will be carried over. The last line of the article clearly states that "the deal would result in the closure -- probably by 2014 -- of the Earl K. Long hospital."

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simon January 25, 2010 at 2:49PM

"Hopefully, the OLOL (Our Lady of the Lake) scheme will work out just fine for the patrons of the proposed LSU's Baton Rouge-based teaching hospital who now go to Earl K. Long. "

I didn't see anything about the charity hospital provisions being carried over to the new agreement. What I saw was: "Our Lady of the Lake would become LSU's Baton Rouge-based teaching hospital" , which is to train medical students.

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knout January 25, 2010 at 3:34PM

For a lot more info. Not all good.

http://www.2theadvocate.com/news/82571937.html

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xman20002000 January 25, 2010 at 3:39PM

Why not ask for a copy of the analysis document. So many of you cry great but what was the thinking behind the move and find a City in America not wanting new construction... Find out the plan and how this relates to the New Orleans location... Notice the Long hospital is old and outdated...

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opencharity January 25, 2010 at 4:19PM

Thanks knout for the Advocate link -- It has much more information.

Re: EKL and Charity in New Orleans, the major difference is that EKL is being allowed to remain open at its capacity (indeed with the recent addition of a new outpatient clinic it has actually expanded -- while here in New Orleans we are at best one-third of our pre-Katrina standing.

I am willing to wager that many of us who have been outraged about Big Charity's closure might have supported a new replacement facility had LSU instead allowed Charity to reopen -- and expand onto adjacent land (i.e. the old State Office Building site / Supreme Court site) instead of tearing down a large section of Mid-City.

What the condition of EKL Hospital tells me is how the state has long deferred proper upkeep. According to http://www.lsuhospitals.org/Hospitals/EKL/EKL-History.htm EKL opened in 1968 -- nearly thirty years later than Big Charity and yet EKL was in worse shape.

My main concern going forward with the LSU/OLOL deal is whether healthcare access for the medically indigent will be maintained. State law protects us in this regard now:

http://www.legis.state.la.us/lss/lss.asp?doc=100969

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simon January 25, 2010 at 4:31PM

It looks like the Lake will build a 60 bed hospital to take care of current EKL patients and there will be some out-patient clinics. The Lak was the second largest hospital in the state before big Charity got trashed, now it is the buggest. The operate a college that offers associate degrees including nursing and some other allied health degrees. Who knows, maybe this will put them (OLOL) in range to start a medical school. This might be a good deal.

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simon January 25, 2010 at 4:34PM

"State law protects us in this regard now:"

This will not be a "State supported Charity Hospital"

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opencharity January 25, 2010 at 5:51PM

To simon's comment -- if LSU has a role to play in its operation, it cannot shirk this lawful obligation. Here's the text of the state law I refenced above:

46:6

Admission criteria to state-supported charity hospitals

Any bona fide resident of the state of Louisiana who is in need of medical services, including but not limited to the uninsured, shall be eligible for treatment by any general hospital owned or operated by the board in accordance with policy adopted by the LSU Board of Supervisors. However, any person with an income greater than two hundred percent of the federal poverty level otherwise eligible for treatment may be denied access to non-emergency medical care if such person refuses to pay any appropriately adopted reasonable charges for treatment or service received, unless the patient's clinical condition requires immediate treatment as determined by the patient's treating physician, or if the person has been treated in the past, billed based upon his or her ability to pay, and has refused to pay for previous medical services without justifiable excuse or to make arrangements for periodic partial payments, unless the patient's clinical condition requires immediate treatment as determined by the patient's treating physician or medical director. In no event shall emergency treatment be denied to anyone; and in no event shall any person housed in any parish jail facility or state prison in the state of Louisiana, irrespective of his state of residency, be denied medically necessary medical treatment in the nearest general hospital owned or operated by the board. Further, any prisoner treated at a general hospital owned or operated by the board shall have those services paid through the facility receiving state funding for the incarceration of said prisoner.

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GrisGrisMama January 25, 2010 at 5:40PM

Do not get sick in East Baton Rouge Parish and not have a car, particularly if your usual means of transport is the Capitol Area Transit System (CATS). Find a map of Baton Rouge, hopefully one with bus routes on it. You will see that to use CATS to get to a hospital, you will be taking a long, slow way around the city to possibly get to a hospital that -- if you had a car -- someone could have taken you there in a matter of minutes. As for ambulances, the going rate for a on-way ride in 2005 was about $600.00.


In other words: Don't get sick in Baton Rouge!

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simon January 25, 2010 at 6:18PM

It is important that you understand the nature of the services being contracted and not get the idea that LSU is contracting the services of OLOL to operate a charity hospital.

Please note the legal reference states "operated by the board " and the section title states "Admission criteria to state-supported charity hospitals" as far as treating uninsured patients who are seeking care for non-emergency care.

There is nothing stating anything LSU "playing a role in its operation". LSU is contracting specific services from OLOL, LSU is not setting up a charity hospital at OLOL. LSU is not operating or managing and part of OLOL nor is LSU a partner in the management of OLOL.

I do not know how to state this more clearly.

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opencharity January 25, 2010 at 6:53PM

Thank you for stating it clearly.

I made the post to ferret-out LSU's real intentions. I know that these blog posts supporting the current scheme of privatization and taking advantage of Hurricane Katrina to forment disaster capitalism are often made by top LSU officialdom and/or people in the know -- perhaps including yourself.

Just know that while EKL seems destined for its OLOL destiny, once word gets out that this "public-private-partnership" is to model it is using to shirk its historic responsibilities -- EKL will be the last facility subjected to such a fate.

We, the medically indigent of Louisiana have been taken advantage of thanks to our internal displacement because of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav and Jindal. But others who seemingly were better situated in higher education and other social service and public service sectors are realizing they are next for abandonment.

"This is not a done deal"

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