Moss Regional measure passes in Senate

By By John Guidroz / American Press

BATON ROUGE — Lawmakers approved a measure Thursday that supports the construction of a $5 million outpatient clinic next

to W.O. Moss Regional Medical Center and the moving of 10 inpatient beds from Moss to Lake Charles Memorial Hospital.

The Senate unanimously approved Senate Concurrent Resolution 98, by Sen. Ronnie Johns, R-Sulphur. It heads to the House for

consideration, where Johns said he does not expect any opposition.

He said the Legislature must approve

moving the beds. The change, he said, will allow the uninsured to get

orthopedic, cardiovascular

and other types of care locally, instead of visiting out-of-town

clinics.

“This is a model we feel comfortable and good with,” Johns said. “The transition is moving along very smoothly, especially

since we are going to provide more local care for our constituents in Southwest Louisiana.”

Six to seven inpatients are treated daily at Moss, and the hospital averages about 120,000 outpatient procedures annually,

Johns said.

Memorial has agreed to spend $5 million to build an outpatient clinic next to Moss, he said. The original facility — which

is more than 50 years old — will be used for other clinics.

Johns said Memorial will subcontract some services to West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital.

Gene Thibodeaux, who is on Memorial’s board of directors, told a House committee Wednesday that 220 of the 270 employees at

Moss were offered positions at Memorial.

Johns said the area delegation is working with other local hospitals to find jobs for Moss employees who don’t end up working

for Memorial.

The Joint Budget Committee is scheduled to consider the hospital lease agreements May 29. If approved, Memorial could begin

managing Moss by July 1.