UMC could be spared, but other hospitals threatened by budget cu - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

UMC could be spared, but other hospitals threatened by budget cuts

University Medical Center, New Orleans (Source:  WVUE Image) University Medical Center, New Orleans (Source: WVUE Image)

Closing the state budget gap for the next fiscal year could shutter some privatized LSU hospitals. 

The Edwards administration wants to spare University Medical Center in New Orleans and University Health in Shreveport to protect medical education. 

But, Department of Health and Hospitals undersecretary Jeff Reynolds warned that setting aside the money for those teaching hospitals could cut funding to other safety net hospitals around the state. 

As a result, outpatient clinics programs might be shuttered and some partner hospitals might be forced to close entirely. 

Said Reynolds, "Shuttering these hospitals in these markets will absolutely reduce access to care." 

Baton Rouge Representative Edward James worries about declining access to health care. 

"We've already had one hospital close. We have an emergency room shut down," said James.

It would also cause problems for medical residents at hospitals like Our Lady of the Lake in Baton Rouge. 

"They're in the middle of their program. In essence they're out on the street and they're looking for a program to get admitted to. It would put them a year or two behind on their education if we cut it off immediately," said Reynolds. 

On a more positive note, Reynolds said the Medicaid expansion could save the state $124 Million dollars next year. 

That savings could lessen the blow of budget cuts to his department. 

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