LSUHSC situation becomes clearer

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Biomedical Research Foundation to take over Oct. 1

The future of the LSU Health Sciences Center is turning out to be a ‘win-win’ situation for northwest Louisiana, according to one local official.

State Senator Barrow Peacock, R-Bossier City, said he fully supports the Biomedical Research Foundation’s takeover of the Shreveport hospital. The BRF Hospital Holdings, L.L.C. (BRFHH) will begin managing and operating two public hospitals, LSU Health Shreveport and E.A. Conway in Monroe, effective Oct. 1, 2013.

Gov. Bobby Jindal and his administration won the approval of the Civil Service Commission to privatize several LSU hospitals earlier this year.

“We are being forced to do this because of a cut of $862 million in Medicaid cuts,” Peacock explained. “There are going to be concerns with any kind of change, but there have been a number of meetings with the employees and the community through this process. The mission of that medical center is still going to be met.”

Now, Peacock said the Louisiana hospitals are following a similar pathway that the University of Maryland took, which he noted was successful. He added that he does not see privatization as having a negative impact on the community.

“I want this to be a big success for all of north Louisiana and it can be. It has the potential to do that,” he said. “This can be a win-win for our medical community. This process is really joining the entire I-20 corridor together.”

The Biomedical Research Foundation says these two hospitals alone generate an economic impact of $900 million for north Louisiana, employ thousands and provide essential safety net services and advanced care in their communities. Peacock said privatizing will also allow the hospitals reinvest into their own facilities rather than sending money to other areas of the state.

“It’s going to require the state of Louisiana to fully fund the medical school here just as they do in New Orleans,” he said. “The state has been taking the profits of that hospital and moving it to the medical school.

Peacock said the BRF is keeping the same team that’s running that hospital out there right now in place and they have also brought in a consulting group for a year.

“Sometimes you need to bring in someone from the outside to see what could be done differently,” Peacock said. “They are there to help and look for things that could mean savings, meaning they will have resources available to reinvest back into that facility in Shreveport and in Monroe.”

The Biomedical Research Foundation (BRF) of Northwest Louisiana is ending its search today to fill positions on their Board of Directors. Board members will be responsible for the effective governance of the two institutions (Shreveport and Monroe) by assuring that the organization is fiscally sound, evaluating the performance of executives, participating actively in board decisions and endeavors, and serving as ambassadors for the hospitals to the community.

The Biomedical Research Foundation estimates that there is a time commitment of a minimum 8 to 10 hours per month for board members, possibly more for officers and/or committee members. Membership on the BRFHH Board of Directors is an unpaid position.

For a complete list of requirements and expectations, visit the Biomedical Research Foundation website at www.biomed.org