Moss Regional ends inpatient services

By By Eric Cormier / American Press

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.”