(American Press Archives)
Last Modified: Friday, June 14, 2013 6:25 PM
In a little more than a week, Lake Charles Memorial Health System will take over the reins of providing health services to people who now visit Moss Regional Medical Center.
The change is part of Louisiana’s health care privatization initiative.
LSU Health said Friday that starting June 14 Moss Regional won’t accept new patients and will end surgery services.
“Any inpatients remaining in the hospital on June 17 will transfer to Lake Charles Memorial Hospital. The WOM (Moss Regional) Emergency Department will remain open until 7 p.m. June 20,” according to the state’s news release.
All inpatient, surgery and emergency care at Moss Regional will be managed by Memorial Hospital. Moss Regional will close its doors officially on June 24.
“Most of our patients at W.O. Moss are treated in outpatient clinics,” hospital administrator Jimmy Pottorff said in the release. “This transition will preserve access to quality health care services to both our outpatients and inpatients.”
Larry Graham, Memorial’s CEO and president, told the American Press on Friday that residents should expect the same quality of care they are accustomed to.
“We can’t do anything different, and that is important. Memorial will be able to provide specialty services to patients also of Southwest Louisiana who in the past would have had to be referred to other hospitals in the LSU system. Now those patients will be able to get those services locally,” he said.
He said the addition of more specialty clinics will strengthen the hospital’s position in the region.
According to LSU, “Outpatient clinics will remain open at their current locations on the WOM campus under management of Lake Charles Memorial. These primary care and specialty clinics include infectious disease, rheumatology, oncology, dermatology, ophthalmology, gynecology, asthma, diabetes, hypertension, health maintenance and renal.”
Graham said Memorial is committed to serving locals.
“Memorial is a community hospital. It is locally owned and managed by a board of directors of local businessmen and -women. The mission is to take care of patients in Southwest Louisiana.”
Bill Hankins, CEO at West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital, said an agreement is being finalized for residents on the west side of the Calcasieu River who used to visit Moss Regional.
“We are finalizing it with Memorial in regards to gynecological services and general surgery,” he told the newspaper. “Our doctors have been working at Moss Regional hospital and in the clinics a number of years. We are hoping to continue to offer the type of services that patients have been receiving.”