Louisiana could ban most new freestanding emergency rooms

Louisiana could ban most new freestanding emergency rooms

BATON ROUGE, LA (AP) - A proposal to ban the creation of most new freestanding emergency rooms in Louisiana has won support from state senators. Backers of the proposal say the ERs threaten the survival of Louisiana’s fragile rural hospitals.

Senate Health and Welfare Chairman Fred Mills, a St. Martin Parish Republican, says stand-alone emergency departments cherry-pick services that generate the most money.

Senators voted 36-1 for Mills’ bill. The House received the measure Wednesday, where a committee will next debate it.

Mills’ proposal would prohibit the creation of freestanding emergency departments in Louisiana that are not licensed as part of the main campus of a hospital or as a hospital’s off-site campus. In addition, no hospitals would be able to create an off-site ER within the primary service area of a rural hospital.

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