Moss Regional administrator says no layoffs planned at hospital

By By Natalie Stewart / American Press

An LSU hospital system leader recently

announced that layoffs in south Louisiana public hospitals have been

halted, but W.O.

Moss Regional Medical Center’s interim administrator said the

hospital isn’t included in layoffs being put on hold and that

no layoffs are planned.

Nearly all of the 1,500 state employee layoffs scheduled for January are being put on hold while university leaders continue

negotiations with private hospitals to take over some of the public hospital’s operations.

The planned layoffs are a result of

$329 million in cuts to the public hospital system imposed by Gov. Bobby

Jindal’s administration.

The Advocate reported that LSU

hospitals leader Frank Opelka sent an email update to state lawmakers

Tuesday, notifying them

that he won’t move forward with civil service approval of the

layoff plans for seven hospitals under the LSU Health Care Services

Division.

Opelka, LSU System executive vice president, told lawmakers that the only layoffs now anticipated involve five workers at

Moss Regional and 42 at Bogalusa Medical Center.

Jimmy Pottorff, interim hospital administrator, said the five layoffs mentioned were probational employees who were let go

eight weeks ago. He said the hospital has no further layoffs planned.

Moss Regional was hit with steep cuts in July when the system stripped the hospital of nearly $11 million — cuts the facility

absorbed by scaling back to 10 beds and terminating 11 employees, and through attrition of services, including eliminating

the dietary program for employees.

The $11 million in cuts included more

than $5.1 million for inpatient services and $1.9 million for clinical

operations. Inpatient

and ICU care were also reduced.

The facility also faced the elimination of 64 positions earlier in the year due to budget slashing.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.