Mayor Mitch Landrieu on Friday applied for $100 million in state funds for the redevelopment of the abandoned Charity Hospital building. Landrieu wants to move City Hall and Civil District Court into the refashioned building that would be called the Civic Center.
There are many projects in the air in mid-city and downtown New Orleans including the substantial University Medical Center , the controversial development of the World Trade Center by the Mississippi River and Canal Street and possible plans for the Charity Hospital building—vacated after Hurricane Katrina.
The following is a press release by State Treasurer John Kenney. LouisianaVoice presents it here as a guest column that we feel underscores the concerns expressed in our Sept. 29 post entitled False prophets, false profits—and false reasons to privatize LSU Hospital System (or trolling for more Medicaid dollars)
The reason advanced by the Jindal Administration for privatizing Louisiana's charity hospitals is that a private hospital like Lafayette General or Ochsner, for example, can manage a hospital more efficiently, and therefore cheaper, than the state.
In 2009, when Alvarez & Marsal, a national performance auditor, recommended a handful of common-sense business practices that would save taxpayers $72 million a year at the state's Big Charity hospital in New Orleans, I asked for a similar audit of the state's nine other Charity Hospitals. The Charity Hospitals resisted.
Louisiana Treasurer John Kennedy is just both inside and outside of state government who are nonplussed over the current state of healthcare in Louisiana.
According to Louisiana Treasurer, John Kennedy the state was caught a little “flat-footed” and “without a plan” when Congress reduced the amount Louisiana would receive from the federal government for Medicaid.
This summer the LSU Board of Supervisors (“BOS”) held a retreat.
In the relative scheme of things, perhaps early December, 2012 will be viewed in Louisiana political history as the health care policy equivalent of the peaceful breaching of the Berlin Wall. The ending of the era of a state-operated charity hospital system has begun peaceably, and both clients and taxpayers are better off for it.
With news that most of Louisiana’s charity hospitals may get downsized confirms the move to dismantle the system as it is has come to the stage of a realistic alternative future, also bringing big change to some other related areas of policy, and not a second too soon to benefit the state.
Spurred by the sudden loss of a good chunk of its Medicaid reimbursement from the federal government – the vast majority of these public hospitals’ business is paid for that way, making Louisiana public institutions a wildly disproportionate user of those funds – at first former system leaders developed a strategy to cope by using mainly reserve funds, necessary because they remained invested in the notion that public hospitals providing free care to the indigent must exist. In retrospect, this appears now accepted then only because of the compressed time frame, but that the basing of the response on the concept of necessity of public hospitals was not considered viable over the long haul.