Jan 24, 2013 6:44 PM by Chris Welty

More Details Emerge on UMC, LGMC Partnership

Cuts were announced a year ago at University Medical Center.

Because of those budget cuts, UMC was set to lose 22-point-five-million-dollars and 173 jobs. In December, Lafayette General Medical Center stepped in announcing a partnership to avoid those cuts.

Thursday, a healthcare panel answered questions from the House of Representatives giving more insight on that public-private partnership agreement.

"For the longest time we've been dealing with one state or federal reduction after another and we haven't had the ability to get everyone focused," said Dr. Frank Opelka, Executive Vice President of LSU Health-care Redesign.

Since University Medical Center and Lafayette General partnered, services are expanding, including graduate medical education and clinical care improvements.

"We know we're pushing this quickly, but it has a lot to do with the federal reductions the state is seeing in financing the care for the under-insured," said Dr. Opelka.

By expanding the residency program, the hope is to keep those doctors in Lafayette after they've trained. Since people sometimes wait hours to see a doctor, the partnership hopes to cut back on wait times.

"We've all got to redesign how we deliver all our health-care."

Though things are looking up for the hospitals, they're aware, there could be more cuts.

"We keep vigil on that and this is all part of our part of being the solution as we move forward," said Dr. Opelka.

So far, the partnerships have only gone through the first phase of approval and could be finalized by late June or early July.

Chris Welty



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