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Lake Charles Memorial, Moss Regional deal finalized

Last Modified: Tuesday, June 25, 2013 10:08 AM

By Natalie Stewart / American Press

The deal between Lake Charles Memorial Health Systems and W.O. Moss Regional Medical Center is finalized, officially bringing Moss Regional’s inpatient and emergency services to Memorial Hospital.

The deal was made final Monday and Moss Regional Medical Center will now be called W.O. Moss Memorial Health Clinic.

Larry Graham, Lake Charles Memorial Hospital president, told the American Press on Monday that the deal made between the state and Memorial Health Systems will provide more health care options for the under-insured and uninsured.

Graham said the “No. 1 thing” patients who were receiving care at Moss Regional will see is the access they now have to local specialists.

“In the past (patients) had to be referred to other LSU facilities in the state whether it be in Lafayette, New Orleans or Shreveport,” he said. “Now, most of the specialists with specialty services they may need can be provided by our specialists here in town. Families and patients aren’t going to have to travel, and I think that’s a big deal.”

Inpatient, emergency and surgery services have been transferred to Memorial’s Oak Park Campus, Graham said. Some surgery and inpatient services for patients living in West Calcasieu and Cameron Parish will be provided by West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital.

Although Moss’s inpatient and emergency services have been moved to Memorial’s Oak Park campus, the Moss campus will remain open and offer services for asthma, gynecology, hypertension, infectious diseases and minor procedures; primary and urgent care clinics will also be offered as well as chemotherapy, dermatology, ophthalmology, rheumatology and pharmacy services.

Graham said the Moss emergency room has been converted into an urgent care clinic, and Memorial Health Services has plans to build a $4 million medical office building on the Moss campus with specialty services to be added over time.

“Moss patients are now Memorial patients and I would really like to emphasize that,” he said. “We don’t want them to think of themselves as Moss patients anymore. We would like for them to think of themselves as Memorial patients. If they needed to be admitted to the hospital, they would be admitted to Memorial just like any other Memorial patient.”

Graham said the agreement with the state requires that every clinic and every service that was provided by Moss continue on the same pay scale the hospital was using as a state-run facility.

“In Louisiana, we were faced with the unique challenge of adapting a public-run, statewide charity hospital system to the evolving health care needs of our people,” Gov. Bobby Jindal said in a news release on Monday. “While our one-of-a-kind charity hospital system did tremendous work for decades, successfully serving the people of Louisiana and meeting their health care needs, we recognized that we needed to change the way we operate.”

About 225 Moss employees are now employed in the same capacity by Memorial.

Bernita Loyd Brown has been named administrator of Moss Memorial Health Clinic where her role will include overseeing day-to-day operations at the Moss campus.

“Bernita was the obvious choice when it came to selecting the right person to lead the Moss campus forward,” Graham said in a news release. “Her leadership and experience speak for themselves, and her passion for the patients of Moss is unmatched. She will ensure her staff meets the medical needs of the community they serve.”

Jimmy Pottorff, former interim administrator, will assume the role of director of operations.

Three other state-run hospitals finalized public-private deals this week — Leonard J. Chabert Medical Center in Houma, University Medical Center in Lafayette, and the Interim LSU Public Hospital in New Orleans.

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