Last Modified: Wednesday, July 18, 2012 11:07 AM
The state Department of Health and Hospitals announced last week it would make up to $859 million in cuts to Medicaid, but officials from several local hospitals said they will continue to provide good-quality health care for their patients.
DHH Secretary Bruce Greenstein said most of the cuts will fall on the seven hospitals under the public health care system administered by LSU, including W.O. Moss Regional Medical Center.
Dr. Roxane Townsend, assistant vice president for LSU Health Systems, said officials are working on several plans they can present to the full board and the system president to address the cuts. She said none of the plans has been developed in detail.
“There will definitely be an impact,” Townsend said of the cuts. “Obviously, we’re looking at how it’s going to impact patient care. We’re trying to balance these things as we look at these reductions.”
Larry Graham, president and CEO of the Lake Charles Memorial Health System, said in an email Monday that officials are disappointed in the cuts, especially since the Medicaid fee schedule has dropped by 25 percent over the last few years. He said that drop has “dealt a huge financial blow” to the hospital, which provides care for many patients on Medicaid.
“We realize our lawmakers have tough decisions to make,” Graham said. “It is just frustrating that they choose to draw from the same well when cuts are needed.”
Despite the announced cuts, Graham said the hospital will strive to improve health care for its patients in the community.
Stephen Wright, CEO for Christus Health Louisiana, said in an email that he has not reviewed the reductions, but that any cut “raises serious concerns that services will be cut and access to care will be reduced.”
Bryan Bateman, CEO of Women & Children’s Hospital, said that while the cuts are unfortunate, the hospital does not expect layoffs or any reduction in patient services.
“We will continue to monitor the cuts assessed to non-state and non-rural hospitals, which will have financial implications for our facility down the line,” he said. “But we will remain dedicated to providing the same quality and comprehensive health care services as we did before this announcement was made.”
More than 1 million people statewide rely on Medicaid to have access to health care.
Posted By: Doug On: 7/17/2012
Which Lake Charles Health Care Facilities fall under the LSU Health Systems?