One area state lawmaker said he believes it is unlikely that Moss Regional Medical Center can absorb $11 million in cuts without reducing patient services, including its outpatient clinics.
“Any time that amount of money is cut out of a budget, it is going to affect services,” Rep. A.B. Franklin, D-Lake Charles, said Friday. “I just don’t think you can take a cut like this. The way this thing is going is very scary.”
Franklin, along with several other Southwest Louisiana state lawmakers, met Wednesday with LSU officials to discuss plans to deal with the cuts. He said the cuts to Moss Regional were unfair, and that they have absorbed more cuts each year than other state-run hospitals.
“We’re going to get the short end of the stick,” Franklin said. “I think Moss Regional is one of best hospitals that the state runs. It looks like we’re getting penalized because we have the best service.”
Rep. Mike Danahay, D-Sulphur, said there is a plan to help Moss Regional deal with the short-term cuts without sacrificing services. But, he said, he has concerns about handling cuts over the long term.
Danahay said the Federal Medical Assistance Percentages formula is expected to be lower next year. The formula is used to determine how much federal money states get from medical assistance programs, like Medicaid.
“Next year is where my concern falls,” he said. “It’s going to be much more difficult to deal with those cuts at that time.”
State lawmakers who attended the meeting included Rep. Bob Hensgens, R-Abbeville; Rep. Dorothy Sue Hill, D-Dry Creek; and Sen. Ronnie Johns, R-Lake Charles. Dr. Fred Cerise, LSU’s vice president for health affairs; Roxane Townsend, head of the LSU Health Care Services Division; and Dr. William Jenkins, LSU’s interim university president, also attended.