Committee approves measure to move inpatient beds from Moss Regional to Memorial

By By John Guidroz / American Press

BATON ROUGE — A Senate committee on Wednesday approved a measure allowing for the move of 10 inpatient beds at W.O. Moss Regional Hospital to Lake Charles Memorial Hospital.

The Senate Health and Welfare committee unanimously approved Senate Concurrent Resolution 98 by Sen. Ronnie Johns, R-Sulphur. It heads to the full Senate for consideration.

Johns said legislative approval is required to close down the inpatient beds at Moss and move them to Memorial. He said Moss averages about 6-7 inpatients each day.

"The real purpose of Moss Regional today is the outpatient clinic," Johns said. "They average 120,000 outpatient procedures every year."

In exchange for moving the beds, Johns said Memorial has agreed to spend $5 million to build an outpatient clinic next door to Moss. The original facility at Moss was built in 1958 and needs major repair, he said.

"We will use the main facility for certain clinics," Johns said. "But we will have a new and much better facility for our uninsured on the Moss campus."

With the lease agreement, Johns said patients will have local access to certain types of care, instead of having to visit out-of town clinics.

"There are a lot of situations where the patient has to be transferred to Shreveport or New Orleans or Lafayette," he said.

Johns said Memorial will sub-contract some of the services to West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital. He said this will ensure greater access to health care for residents within the region.

Johns said the Joint Budget Committee is scheduled to consider the lease agreements May 29. If approved, Memorial could take over management of Moss by July 1.

•••

For more on this and other breaking stories, check back at www.americanpress.com or pick up your copy of the print edition of the American Press.