LSU hospitals chief: Maximizing private partnerships critical to system redesign
Dr. Frank Opelka, LSU hospitals chief, says maximizing on partnership opportunities with private hospitals is "critical" to the success of the LSU public hospital system as it works to absorb $152 million in cuts that were levied across the system last week. "These partnerships will cover the gaps in care created by the challenges in the loss of federal support for state-funded health care, and they provide a more effective, less expensive way of delivering services," writes Opelka in a guest column. The cuts have come after the federal government stripped $859 million from Louisiana's health care system by reducing the Federal Medicaid Assistance Percentage. Opelka acknowledges the funding reduction and subsequent cuts "represents a challenge to our state," adding that "It's an opportunity to redesign the system so that LSU Health can better achieve our core mission of quality patient care and educating the doctors of tomorrow." Opelka says Louisiana is the last state still operating its own hospitals, and that turning to private partnerships will improve care and save money in the long run. "The state hospital system costs 30% more to run than private hospitals pay for providing the same service," he writes. "Hospital costs are also more than outpatient costs for the same services. Moving care to private partners and in outpatient settings would improve care and reduce costs." Read the complete column here.
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