New deal been reached to keep Southeast Louisiana Hospital open

Mandeville, La. - After more than five months of protests and meetings, a new deal has been reached to keep Southeast Louisiana Hospital open near Mandeville.

The number of patients is being drastically reduced there, but a number of outside agencies will be able to continue operations.

The deal makes St. Tammany Parish the landlord of the state owned property inside of Fontainbleau State Park.

The deal was reached with a group called Meridian Behavioral Health Services out of Florida.

It calls for Meridian to continue to operate 58 psychiatric inpatient beds, 42 for youth, sixteen for adults.

State Health Secretary Bruce Greenstein says the three year deal should save the state a lot of money.

"The facility here was running at $826 a day for cost of care. It was the most expensive in the state," said Greenstein.

The new Meridian deal takes effect January, 2013.

The state is also signing new contracts to add eight new adult beds at River Oaks, and eight beds for adults at Community Care Hospital, both in New Orleans.

94 intermediate care beds were moved to the state hospital in Pineville. That is almost twice the number of beds as will be saved at Southeast. State health officials say in spite of concern about distance between patients and families, those intermediate beds will remain in Pineville.