Feb 3, 2012 9:52 PM by Maddie Garrett

UMC Fares Better in Statewide Cuts, But Still Facing Closures

The LSU Health System Board of Directors made drastic statewide cuts Friday afternoon. Thousands of patients will be affected and over six hundred jobs lost in LSU hospitals. While Lafayette's University Medical Center seemed to weather this storm better than other hospitals, there are still tough times ahead.

"These reductions that we are forced to deal with today are the reality of a tight state budget," said Dr. Fred Curise, the Assistand Vice President of Medical Education with LSU Health System, during the board meeting.

$34 million was slashed from LSU's Health System Budget, with $4.3 million of that coming out of UMC.

"Regionally, Lafayette and the Lafayette area, from where we were talking two weeks ago in the potential cuts, we're in a lot better shape then we were a few weeks ago. The residency program in Lafayette and in the surrounding area will be in tact. Some of the services will be moved from one department to another so that's going to be good," said Senator Fred Mills after the meeting.

But like most other LSU hospitals, UMC's pediatrics department will close and only some of those services will transfer over to the Family Medicine Clinic.

The reasoning behind cutting the pediatric services is that most of those patients are on Medicare or Medicaid and can go to private hospitals and get the same services.

"We're going to do our best to coordinate that with DHH and ultimately the State's going to be responsible through the Medicaid program to ensure services are available," explained Curise.

The original projection of 107 jobs cut at UMC may not be as steep either, since some physicians in closing clinics will transfer to remaining ones. Still, layoffs will begin next week while closings and the absorption of services will take place over the next 30 days.



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