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Moss Regional Board offers mixed views on partnership

Last Modified: Wednesday, January 23, 2013 8:28 PM

By Natalie Stewart / American Press

Although Lake Charles Memorial Hospital entered into a partnership with W.O. Moss Regional Medical Center last week, the hospital administrator said plans are under way but that they’ve only gotten “the tip of the iceberg” so far.

Officials with LSU Heath Systems and the Department of Health and Hospitals, along with chief executives of Memorial and West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital, announced last week that they would enter into a public-private partnership that would sustain Moss Regional, preventing layoffs and budget cuts and maintaining services at the charity hospital.

Jimmy Pottorff, Moss Regional interim administrator, said in a meeting with the hospital’s community advisory committee Wednesday that the move was “good news.”

“It will preserve services here at Moss, and services will stay intact, both inpatient and outpatient,” he said. “There may be the possibility of an expansion in services in the future. It will be a change in the way that we deliver health care.”

With the partnership Memorial will lease the Moss Regional property from the LSU System, which will continue to serve patients in its current location, and West Cal-Cam Hospital will sublease components of the hospital from Memorial.

Pottorff said details of the partnership are unknown, but state and hospital officials are diligently working to bring a full plan to fruition. “It’s still in the negotiation stage, and there’s a lot to work out with this,” he said.

Pottorff said about $10.8 million was eliminated from Moss Regional’s budget in its last fiscal year.

Board members who met at the Wednesday meeting said the move is a good one, but some raised concerns.

Elaine Broussard said the partnership is a good thing, but is concerned that the hospital will be “pushed aside.”

“This hospital has always been caring for the indigent and the working poor who can’t afford insurance, and it’s been here forever,” she said. “I think people will care to know that when a big hospital takes over, that Moss Regional won’t get scrubbed off to the side or lose its part in the community. People appreciate this place so much.”

Board member Sheila Champagne said that if people saw what Moss Regional did they would know it was “a little diamond in the rough.”

Pottorff added that the partnership will be beneficial for people to actually see what the hospital is doing. “Other places will be able to see what we do with what we have, and they will be in shock,” he said.

Pottorff said he hopes that after the partnership is complete and the transition is made that the hospital will have the opportunity to expand its services in the future.

The transition into the partnership is expected to be complete by July.

Posted By: janet paro On: 1/25/2013

Title: Moss Regional patient

i go to moss regional for a rare cancer that the dermatologist recognized immediately! I'd been to other doctors and clinics and got misdiagnosed routinely. Several physicians in the oncology department have experience with it. I am a fortunate person to be able to drive down the road and be seen by intelligent,skilled, personable doctors and staff!! Moss is such a great place and that's the real beauty of it. I have never beeen treated as a just another patient, everyone does all they can to assist. Lake Charles is fortunate to have such a facility and staff for the area.

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