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Partnership deal between Moss Regional, Memorial Hospital almost done

Last Modified: Wednesday, May 15, 2013 9:50 PM

By Natalie Stewart / American Press

The public-private partnership deal between Moss Regional Medical Center and Lake Charles Memorial Hospital is expected to be complete by the end of the month.

Moss Regional will still house outpatient care and its clinics, but inpatient care will be transferred to Memorial — and possibly West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital for residents in west Calcasieu — once the deal is signed by state lawmakers, said Larry Graham, Memorial president.

Graham said the move would provide Moss Regional’s patients with access to “dramatically improved care” and “more modern facilities” while still following the charity hospital’s obligation to the indigent.

“At the end of the day there is no question that this is going to be a very positive thing for patients who have gone to Moss,” he said. “We are going to use Moss’ policy on who qualifies as an indigent on their sliding scale. Patients won’t notice a difference other than being admitted to Memorial’s facility as opposed to Moss.”

The partnership was announced in January after several other state-run hospitals began joining forces with private entities to preserve health care for the uninsured and Medicaid recipients.

Graham said the official date of change is June 24, which is when the deal is expected to be final.

Also in the deal is a plan to build a new clinic on Moss Regional’s campus, at no cost to the state, he said.

“What will happen is — and this is the most important thing — the patients who use those clinics at Moss will have brand-new clinics as opposed to a 55-year-old building with hospital rooms that have been converted into clinics,” Graham said.

“Big news,” he said, is that patients who now travel to Shreveport and Lafayette for specialty services will then be able to receive the same services in Lake Charles.

“Families who don’t have the ability necessarily to follow a loved one to Shreveport or Lafayette won’t have to worry about that anymore,” he said. “There is also the issue of accessibility and getting into those clinics. We will be adding clinics to Moss with these specialities so patients won’t have to go on a waiting list to go to a clinic out of town for care.”

Graham said that although some patients may still have to travel out of town for treatment, the “bulk” of those who now do will have specialty care available locally.

“This is a good thing, and it’s exciting,” he said. “I think the public, while they may have some angst initially and fear it won’t be the same, should know that it is certainly our commitment to provide them with quality health care.”

Graham said Moss Regional will keep its name.

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