LSU comes up with temporary fix to limit cuts
LSU health care leaders say they will use patchwork funding to keep their safety net hospitals open and lessen the blow of budget cuts that threatened to shutter facilities. Plans outlined to the university governing board today will cut about $50 million from public hospitals and clinics, rather than the more than $300 million that was expected. LSU's hospitals in Lake Charles and Tangipahoa Parish will bear the biggest brunt of the slashing. To protect some services and medical training, LSU will shrink dollars used to recruit faculty for training programs, doctors agreed to take less money for their contracts and equipment purchases are being delayed. Hospitals will use that money to draw down federal matching cash and offset cuts. But the plans are only stopgap measures for the current year. Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration recently stripped the money from the public hospital system as part of a series of Medicaid cuts forced by a federal funding reduction. The Jindal administration levied the bulk of its cuts on the LSU hospitals, which care for the poor and uninsured and provide the bulk of medical training in Louisiana. Lawmakers worry that facilities will have to be closed to make such deep reductions, but the board has asked for cut plans that could keep all 10 hospitals open.
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