Consultant: BRF lacks cash, experience to adequately manage hospitals

Source: KTBS, October 10, 2017
 
Biomedical Research Foundation’s lack of cash could cause the state to lose funding for free and low-cost health care at the former public hospitals the foundation operates in Shreveport and Monroe.  Documents obtained by KTBS through an open records request show state officials are concerned the hospitals could lose Medicaid funding. That federal money helps cover the cost of treating poor people without insurance at the hospitals BRF operates as University Health through a wholly-owned subsidiary.  In September, state officials put BRF on notice it had breached its contract to operate the hospitals, in part because BRF has failed to pay doctors at LSU Medical School in Shreveport for treating patients. BRF also owes the state for a lease on the hospital property. …

Related:

$135M boost going to LSU hospital managers under new deals
Source: Melinda Deslatte, Associated Press, October 27, 2016

The private operators of LSU’s charity hospitals and clinics are in line for a $135 million boost in their payments as part of new deals struck by Gov. John Bel Edwards’ administration, and the university’s medical schools will benefit from some of the new money. State lawmakers are being asked Friday to increase financing for the privatization deals to nearly $1.3 billion in the current budget year, only four months after lawmakers were told the previous level of funding was sufficient. … The money for the hospital and clinic operators is part of a larger budget adjustment requested by the Louisiana Department of Health at Friday’s meeting of the joint House and Senate budget committee. Jeff Reynolds, chief financial officer for the health department, said $135 million is a financing increase for the private managers that have taken over LSU’s hospitals, clinics and patient services. He said the additional payments are part of the renegotiated deals recently worked out by the Edwards administration. … The renegotiated privatization deals crafted by the Edwards administration included provisions in which some of the hospitals will be paying more money for the services of LSU’s doctors who work at the hospitals. … Henry said he wanted to know why the dollars weren’t available when lawmakers were crafting the budget in June, when they were told the previous level of agreed-upon financing was sufficient for the privatization agreements. …

Negotiating over, Edwards makes offers on LSU hospital deals
Source: Melinda Deslatte, Associated Press, September 7, 2016

Gov. John Bel Edwards’ administration will make its offer Thursday to the operator of LSU’s hospitals in Shreveport and Monroe for a renegotiated contract with the state, as the governor pushes to rewrite all the LSU hospital privatization deals. Edwards’ lead negotiator on the contracts, Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne, said Thursday’s presentation to the Biomedical Research Foundation of Northwest Louisiana is the last offer to be made. … Dardenne wouldn’t provide details about what changes are being sought in the north Louisiana hospitals’ deal — or any others. But he said negotiations are over and hospital operators can either take or leave the reworked arrangements offered. … Former Gov. Bobby Jindal privatized nine LSU-run hospitals and their clinics through no-bid contracts, with the earliest deal starting in April 2013. In most instances, the management company of a nearby hospital took over operations. Three contracts closed an LSU hospital — in Baton Rouge, Lake Charles and Pineville — and shifted its services to private hospitals. The Edwards administration says the deals were too hastily slapped together, with terms that aren’t favorable to the state. … LSU System President F. King Alexander described the arrangement to have the foundation, known as BRF, run the Monroe and Shreveport hospitals as dysfunctional from its start in October 2013. Alexander said the research foundation, which runs the two hospitals as the University Health System, doesn’t have the resources or experience, isn’t paying bills on time and isn’t providing enough support to the LSU medical school in Shreveport. BRF and University Health leaders say Alexander’s accusations are untrue and LSU’s Shreveport medical school has financial problems of its own making. They say the research foundation’s hospital management has improved health care. …


Privatization of state insurance program saved $10 million, audit says
Source: Associated Press, June 27, 2016

A new audit says former Gov. Bobby Jindal’s privatization of claims processing and loss prevention services for Louisiana’s self-insurance program saved the state money, though less than projected. The Jindal administration privatized the Office of Risk Management work in June 2010, awarding the $75 million contract to Mandeville-based F.A. Richard and Associates Inc., or FARA. In a review released Monday, the Legislative Auditor’s Office said FARA — which held the privatization deal through June 2015 — saved the state $9.8 million over five years, rather than the $22 million projected by the Jindal administration. …

Read full report.

Analysis: Louisiana still learning effects of hospital deals
Source: Melinda Deslatte, Shreveport Times, April 17, 2016

Three years after Bobby Jindal’s administration began privatizing nearly all the LSU-run charity hospitals, Louisiana leaders are still sorting through the consequences of the deals struck by the Republican former governor. Costs for the hospitals, their clinics and the safety net services have grown despite Jindal’s claims the contracts would save Louisiana money. Hospital operators are threatening to walk away because of state budget cuts. And the medical schools are grappling with the spill-out effects on their budgets and the widespread implications on graduate medical education. … Jindal privatized nine LSU-run hospitals and their clinics through no-bid contracts, with the earliest deal starting in April 2013. In most instances, the management company of a nearby hospital took over operations. Three contracts closed an LSU hospital — in Baton Rouge, Lake Charles and Pineville — and shifted its services to private hospitals. … Meanwhile, the LSU medical schools in New Orleans and Shreveport are trying to keep from getting stuck with millions in annual costs tied to the privatization deals. While they took over the services, the managers of the LSU hospitals and clinics didn’t take on the liabilities associated with former and retired hospital employees, like termination pay, retiree health insurance and workers compensation expenses. Millions of those “legacy costs” are expected for years, and LSU’s health sciences centers have been saddled with many of those payments. …

Louisiana universities talk privatization while facing another round of budget cuts
Source: Julia O’Donoghue, New Orleans Times-Picayune, April 5, 2016

Louisiana’s public university leaders raised the specter of privatization as they brace for another round of budget cuts in the next academic year. … A few higher education leaders brought up privatization as an option in the face of dramatic funding reductions. They said many of the mandates from the state — retirement costs and other benefits — were crushing their budgets. … The state mandates actually cost the Health Sciences Center about $900,000 more than the school received in state funding this year, according to Hollier. He pointed to the recent, controversial privatization of Oregon Health & Science University as a model that should be explored for his institution in Louisiana.  LSU president King Alexander backed up Hollier’s comments. He said it is getting hard to consider LSU, in general, a public institution when most of the funding is now coming from tuition and private resources.

State Budget Shortfall Threatens Privatization Plans and Care at LSU Hospital System
Source: AR’SHEILL MONSANTO AND MICHAEL WYLAND, NonProfit Quarterly, March 9, 2016

Under the leadership of former governor Bobby Jindal, the Louisiana State University charity hospital system was privatized to mitigate the damage to the Louisiana healthcare industry due to cuts in federal Medicaid funding received by the state. The initial 2012 agreement approved by LSU’s Board of Supervisors included a ten-year contract with the option to renew. It also included contracts for management and operation of nine of the ten LSU hospitals and the University Medical Center. With cuts looming, the privatized hospitals are threatening to walk away from the agreement. Turning over management of the 10 public hospitals to nonprofits, it was thought, would reduce the rate of cost increases and promote better system delivery. Early reports indicated that the nonprofits were able to reduce patient waiting times, improve service quality, and implement systems to more effectively measure and track hospital operations

Louisiana budget crisis threatens charity hospital partnerships
Source: Elizabeth Crisp, The Advocate, March 1, 2016

As lawmakers continue to wrangle with solutions for the state’s $900 million deficit, the “best-case scenario” for cuts still includes a significant hit to the payments that will be made to the private administrators of the LSU charity hospital system through June 30. DHH defines the “best-case scenario” as the cuts necessary should the governor’s budget balancing plan be accepted by legislators. The public-private partnership model was adopted under the Jindal administration as a way to privatize old charity hospital system and make it more efficient, but the contracts involving nine LSU hospitals contain early-out provisions if the state shortchanges them

Cuts likely for privatized LSU hospitals under best scenario
Source: Melinda DeSlatte, Associated Press, February 16, 2016

The privatized state hospitals that care for the uninsured are likely to take steep financing reductions over the next four months that could lead to rationed patient care and lengthy wait times for services, lawmakers were told Tuesday. Jeff Reynolds, chief financial officer for the Department of Health and Hospitals, said the best-case scenario of cuts his agency faces to help rebalance Louisiana’s budget would strip about $130 million from the payments to hospital operators before June 30. … Reynolds said even with the money that would be raised from the governor’s proposals, the health department faces a $64 million cut before June 30, which grows to $169 million with lost federal matching cash. The health department will start making the cuts next week.

Millions of dollars in equipment missing from LSU hospitals since privatization, auditors say
Source: Melinda DeSlatte, Associated Press, November 30, 2015

Nearly $6 million in state-owned hospital equipment can’t be located, and millions more bought for the recently opened New Orleans public hospital hasn’t been tracked properly, according to an audit released Monday. Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera’s Office looked at the LSU Health Care Services Division’s financial reporting for the last budget year, which ended June 30. Most of LSU’s hospitals were privatized several years ago by Gov. Bobby Jindal, with the facilities and equipment leased by private hospital managers. The audit says more than $15 million in equipment bought for the new University Medical Center in New Orleans wasn’t properly recorded and tagged before it was turned over to the hospital operator. … Meanwhile, auditors say $1.1 million in equipment from an interim New Orleans hospital hasn’t been found since the shift to the new facility. Also missing is $4.6 million in equipment from the now-shuttered Earl K. Long Medical Center that LSU operated in Baton Rouge before inpatient services were moved to a private hospital in the city. In a written response, LSU said it is working to find and properly tag the items.

LSU sues operator of Shreveport, Monroe hospitals
Source: Associated Press, September 26, 2015

Louisiana State University on Friday sued the private manager of its Shreveport and Monroe hospitals, alleging that the operator breached its contract and failed to live up to promises to keep the hospitals as academic centers. LSU filed the lawsuit against the Biomedical Research Foundation of Northwest Louisiana, or BRF. LSU is seeking to oust the operator with the suit.

LSU hospital privatization deal crumbling in Shreveport, Monroe
Source: Marsha Shuler, The Advocate, September 24, 2015

LSU served formal notice to the Biomedical Research Founding of Northwest Louisiana Foundation on Thursday, citing breach of “the public purpose” outlined in the cooperative endeavor agreement. Under that agreement, LSU said the Foundation must withdraw from it role as parent company of University Health System which operates the two north Louisiana hospitals. The Foundation, called BRF, immediately served notice that it would challenge the move in court. Steve Skrivanos, chairman of the University Health System Board of Directors, called the move “illegal and disruptive to the public purpose of caring for patients.” “The facts show that by all relevant measures of quality of care, patient service and financial management, the BRF and University Health have performed much better than LSU did when it managed the hospitals,” Skrivanos said in a statement.

LSU seeking to oust operator of Shreveport, Monroe hospitals
Associated Press, September 24, 2015

LSU is seeking to end its deal with the private manager of its Shreveport and Monroe hospitals, two years after hospital operations were turned over to a research foundation as part of Gov. Bobby Jindal’s effort to privatize the state’s charity hospital system. The university system sent formal notice Thursday to the Biomedical Research Foundation of Northwest Louisiana, or BRF, that it considers the hospital manager in breach of its contract. It gave the foundation until Oct. 5 to withdraw as hospital operator. … Privatization of the hospitals in Shreveport and Monroe was in contrast to the approach the Jindal administration took in south Louisiana, where LSU’s facilities are being overseen by companies that run other private hospitals in the area. Created in 1986 to boost regional economic development, BRF had more limited resources and no background in hospital management. It had never previously run a patient care facility.

BRF reconsiders plan to scuttle police at hospitals
Source: Greg Hilburn, The News Star, August 4, 2015

Biomedical Research Foundation is reconsidering its plan to privatize the University Health police force at its hospitals in Shreveport and Monroe after “grave concerns” were raised by LSU and officers, foundation Chairman Steve Skrivanos said Monday. Officers said they were told Friday the transition would begin Sept. 30. … Current police officers — 31 at University Health in Shreveport and 11 at University Health Conway in Monroe — are state civil service employees. When BRF secured the contract to operate the two hospitals in 2013 as part of Gov. Bobby Jindal’s plan to privatize the Louisiana’s charity hospital system, most of the hospitals’ state employees were transitioned to BRF employees. The police force was an exception.

Hospital manager offers rebuttal to LSU mismanagement claims
Source: Melinda Deslatte, Associated Press, July 30, 2015

The foundation that manages LSU’s Shreveport and Monroe hospitals under a privatization deal says it has sought to bring in an outside mediator to work out disputes with LSU, but the university has rejected the effort. LSU has charged that the Biomedical Research Foundation of Northwest Louisiana, known as BRF, failed to live up to its contract. … BRF took control of the two north Louisiana hospitals in October 2013 through a no-bid contract, part of Jindal’s push to privatize most of the university-run public hospital system. It had never previously run a patient care facility.

Privatization deal for LSU Shreveport hospital falling apart
Source: Susan Morse, Healthcare Finance News, July 20, 2015

Louisiana State University Health President F. King Alexander has given the foundation operating its hospitals in Shreveport and Monroe 15 days to correct problems or face a breach of contract. Alexander’s July 10 letter to Steve Skrivanos, chairman of Biomedical Research Foundation of Northwest Louisiana, is an 11-page list of complaints and requirements for a remedy, though Alexander expressed doubt the situation could be rectified….Among other requirements, Alexander has called for a detailed plan of action, an immediate retraction of a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid report alleging discriminatory practices by Health Sciences Center-Shreveport and its physicians in the delivery of patient care; and the immediate resignation of Dr. John George from the BRF Board of Directors and any other positions he holds with BRF….BRF has failed to act collaboratively with LSU and the state, Alexander said, indicating problems have been ongoing for two years. Alexander outlined IT issues with HIPAA security and electronic health records; issues over reimbursement from CMS due to Shreveport Hospital’s outpatient clinics not being compliant with administrative requirements along with BRF’s counter-accusations against physicians of inappropriately caring for the uninsured; and damage to the hospital’s reputation.

Analysis: Deal for LSU Shreveport hospital falling apart
Source:Melinda Deslatte, Associated Press, July 19, 2015

The privatization deal for LSU’s Shreveport and Monroe hospitals seems to be imploding. Maybe that was inevitable when university leaders agreed to a contract filled with blank pages or when they chose a manager with no experience running a patient care facility.
The hospital manager — the Biomedical Research Foundation of Northwest Louisiana — has one more week to devise a plan for correcting LSU’s complaints about its oversight of the facilities or the university system will seek to remove the manager, claiming breach of contract….The research foundation, known as BRF, took control of the two north Louisiana hospitals in October 2013 through a no-bid contract, part of Jindal’s push to privatize most of the university-run public hospital system.

LSU hospital manager slaps competitor with federal lawsuit
Source: Melinda Deslatte, Associated Press, July 17, 2015

The operator of LSU’s Shreveport hospital sued its regional competitor Thursday, accusing it of violating federal antitrust laws and trying to take away university-affiliated doctors and paying patients. The lawsuit, filed in Shreveport by the Biomedical Research Foundation of Northwest Louisiana, or BRF, is an outgrowth of continuing tensions with LSU since the foundation took control of the university’s Shreveport and Monroe hospitals in October 2013…University officials and BRF have repeatedly clashed since Gov. Bobby Jindal privatized the north Louisiana hospitals nearly two years ago. The foundation had never run a patient care facility when it got the no-bid contract, and several state officials are pushing for LSU to find a new operator of the two hospitals

LSU ready to oust operator of Shreveport, Monroe hospitals
Source: Associated Press, July 10, 2015

LSU has given the foundation operating its hospitals in Shreveport and Monroe 15 days to correct a long list of complaints or step aside for a new operator. Friday’s letter from LSU President F. King Alexander to the chairman of the Biomedical Research Foundation of Northwest Louisiana comes after months of growing tensions. It outlines numerous ways in which the foundation allegedly failed to perform obligations in running a public hospital, such as collaborating with LSU on technology matters and supporting LSU’s teaching mission. King’s letter says “BRF has repeatedly failed to act collaboratively with LSU and the State of Louisiana … failed to support and promote the academic mission of the LSU Health Sciences Center-Shreveport, and failed to establish a sustainable and competitive business model.”

It goes on to say BRF has engaged in actions contrary to the best interests of the state and LSU and has threatened the finances of the Shreveport hospital as well as EA Conway, the state hospital in Monroe.

Source: New troubles erupt in LSU Shreveport hospital privatization
Melinda Deslatte, Associated Press, June 18, 2015

LSU leaders and the manager of the university system’s Shreveport hospital are again at odds, and the threat of a possible breach of contract lawsuit emerged Thursday in the privatization deal. A last-minute add-on to Friday’s LSU Board of Supervisors agenda shows a possible discussion about “prospective litigation” against the Biomedical Research Foundation of Northwest Louisiana for violating its contract to run LSU’s Shreveport and Monroe hospitals….

Analysis: Lawmakers hear about gaps in LSU hospital deals
Source: Melinda Deslatte, Associated Press, April 26, 2015

Two years after Gov. Bobby Jindal began privatizing the state-run charity hospital system, problems and financial questions continue to appear as lawmakers and communities sift through the spill-out effect. The private managers that now operate the hospitals say they’re $159 million short in Jindal’s budget of what they need to provide adequate care for the poor and uninsured in the fiscal year that begins July 1.

Privatization of LSU hospitals leaves medical school with ‘legacy costs’
Source: Associated Press, April 16, 2015

LSU’s medical schools in New Orleans and Shreveport are struggling to pay millions of dollars in insurance, retiree and maintenance costs left to them from the privatization of the state’s charity hospitals. University officials outlined more than $56 million in “legacy costs” that they face in the fiscal year that begins July 1. Gov. Bobby Jindal’s budget would leave the health sciences center in New Orleans and Shreveport to cover costs associated with former hospital employees, the Senate Finance Committee was told Thursday….

Hospital decision good for Jindal, less for others
Source: Melinda Deslatte, News Star, January 11, 2015

Gov. Bobby Jindal got only good news when the federal Medicaid agency signed off on financing plans for his LSU hospital privatization deals. But the result was more mixed for lawmakers and future governors, who learned Jindal’s deals will leave them with a lingering budget worry after he’s gone. … CMS approval came with a blow, however: Louisiana was ordered to repay $190 million to the federal government for pieces of prior hospital deals the Medicaid agency rejected. That won’t touch Jindal though, because an appeal of the repayment order is expected to drag on for years. If the hospital deals cause the state financial trouble, Jindal will be gone when the mess has to be cleaned up. …

Federal government approves LSU hospital deals, but rejects their lease payments
Source: Times-Picayune, December 23, 2014

Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration says federal officials have approved the six LSU hospital privatization contracts, though they rejected the advanced lease payment structure used to help pay for the deals — a potential $190 million blow to Louisiana’s state budget.

LSU hospital deals still pending in federal review, despite secretary’s statement to lawmakers
Source: Associated Press, December 16, 2014

Louisiana’s health secretary told lawmakers that the state expected to receive federal approval for six LSU hospital privatization contracts by last week’s end. It still hasn’t arrived. Health and Hospitals Secretary Kathy Kliebert said Tuesday the lack of an approval letter doesn’t mean the rewritten deals have hit any snags. She said she’s assured in her conversations with the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, known as CMS, that there are no problems with the financing plans.

Analysis: Strife emerges in LSU privatization deal
Source: Melinda Deslatte, Associated Press, August 31, 2014

Only a year into privatization, a bitter feud has erupted from a deal that transferred management of LSU’s Shreveport and Monroe hospitals to a research foundation that had never run a patient care facility. Now, finger-pointing and traded jabs of mismanagement threaten to mar the contractual arrangement that Gov. Bobby Jindal orchestrated and praised as improving the future of health care for Louisiana….LSU claims it’s owed more than $25 million for services rendered as part of the 10-month-old management transfer, and the new operator of the hospitals, the Biomedical Research Foundation of Northwest Louisiana, is accusing LSU of having mismanaged its clinics….

Hospital manager says it paid nearly $7M for debt tied to privatization of LSU hospitals
Source: Melinda Deslatte, Associated Press, August 22, 2014

Hospital manager says it paid nearly $7M for debt tied to privatization of LSU hospitals
The research foundation running the LSU hospitals in Shreveport and Monroe said it paid the university system nearly $7 million Friday for back-owed debts tied to privatization, less than one-third of the amount demanded by LSU in a collection letter this week. The Biomedical Research Foundation of Northwest Louisiana, or BRF, said it placed another $10.6 million into escrow, saying it will be disbursed to LSU once remaining financial terms are worked out. The foundation said in a statement that it will cover the balance of what is owed to the university system. …

Hospital privatization cost $52 million less than budget
Source: Lauren Guillot, Daily Reveille, July 23, 2014

Gov. Bobby Jindal’s plan to privatize university hospitals has cost $52 million less than expected. According to the Department of Health and Hospitals, the state spent just over $1 billion on the hospital deals during the fiscal year that ended June 30.

LSU hospital privatization deals cost less than expected
Source: Associated Press, July 16, 2014

Louisiana spent $52 million less than was budgeted for Gov. Bobby Jindal’s privatization deals for the LSU hospitals that provide care to the uninsured in the recently ended fiscal year, according to data provided by the state health department…. The Department of Health and Hospitals also says some of the reduced spending can be tied to a slower-than-expected restart of services that had been cut when LSU was operating the hospitals and their clinics. But lawmakers in areas with the privatization deals have raised concerns that some of the uninsured patients are going to other private hospitals in the region that aren’t getting reimbursed for the care. In response to an Associated Press request, DHH released updated financial data showing the hospital deals cost the state just over $1 billion in the fiscal year that ended June 30, paid with state and federal Medicaid dollars. The budget assumed $52 million more than was spent. Final accounting for the overall Medicaid program won’t be complete until October, so it won’t be clear until then if the health department has a surplus. Privatization deals, completed through no-bid contracts, have taken effect for nine university hospitals and their clinics, with the earliest deal starting in April 2013. Kliebert said the management transfers have decreased wait times for clinics, specialty services and prescription fillings….

Supporters want Pineville’s Huey P. Long Medical Center reopened or re-used
Source: Richard Sharkey, Town Talk, July 7, 2014

The state has pulled the plug on Huey P. Long Medical Center in Pineville, but some hospital supporters are hoping it can be given new life.  Those supporters would like to see it reopened as a charity hospital, but if that doesn’t happen, they’d like to see the building re-used in some capacity. ….

Update to be given Monday on Huey P. Long lawsuit
Source: Town Talk, July 4, 2014

Lawyers will give an update Monday in Pineville on a lawsuit claiming that the process used to close Huey P. Long Medical Center violated the state open meetings law. … Judge Robert Downing of Baton Rouge has ruled that the legislation authorizing the Pineville charity hospital’s closure was flawed, but he did not stop the state from ending operations at the facility on Monday. Downing ruled that the Senate violated the open meetings law when the legislation was heard by its Health and Welfare Committee. He granted a preliminary injunction request sought by two hospital-closure opponents. But he also suspended that judgment pending an appeal of his decision. The appeal then went to the Louisiana Supreme Court because it is a question of constitutionality….

State files new appeal with CMS
Source: Marsha Shuler, Advocate, June 29, 2014

The Jindal administration on Friday sought reconsideration of the federal health agency’s initial rejection of LSU hospital privatization financing plans. The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services disapproved the plans because of advance lease payments included in hospital takeover agreements. CMS deemed the private operator payments “provider-related donations,” which are not allowed under federal law. A letter from Louisiana’s Medicaid director offers a defense of appropriateness of advance lease payments — and challenges the notion that the payments are donations….

LSU hospital closure ruled unconstitutional
Source: Associated Press, June 23, 2014

Lawmakers didn’t follow the Louisiana Constitution in authorizing Gov. Bobby Jindal to close the LSU-run public hospital in Pineville, a judge ruled Monday, but the judge is not requiring the Jindal administration to stop plans to shutter the facility next week. Judge Robert Downing said the Senate violated the open meetings law when the legislation was heard by its Health and Welfare Committee. He granted a preliminary injunction request sought by two hospital closure opponents. However, Downing also suspended that judgment — effectively allowing the closure plans to continue — pending an appeal of his decision. The appeal heads directly to the Louisiana Supreme Court because it is a question of constitutionality….

State work force down by 8,000
Source: Advocate, June 11, 2014

More than 8,000 classified state employees have lost their jobs since Gov. Bobby Jindal took office, according to a state Civil Service report issued Tuesday, The bulk of the 8,278 employees were laid off as a result of Jindal administration initiatives that turned traditional state functions over to private companies. Most of the layoffs have occurred in the past two state fiscal years with privatization of the LSU hospital system. So far, 2,270 employees have been laid off this fiscal year, which ends June 30, Civil Service reports. Of them, 2,196 had been employees of LSU hospitals in Bogalusa, Shreveport and Monroe. The layoffs reached a high last fiscal year, when 3,808 people lost their state jobs as the privatization of the LSU hospitals began.

Louisiana Resubmits Hospital Privatization Plan to Federal Agency
Source: Teddy Wilson, RH Reality Check, June 6, 2014

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration has revised its plan to privatize state-run hospitals with federal dollars and resubmitted it to the agency that just last month rejected the proposal. ….. According to reports, the new proposal would not change the reimbursements rates to the private hospital managers, which CMS raised objections to when the original plan was rejected. Instead, the new plan would create a completely new category of reimbursement rates for the hospitals being privatized, and remove all references to the privatization contracts.

Bobby Jindal administration will send revised hospital privatization plan to federal officials
Source: Julia O’Donoghue, Times-Picayune, May 20, 2014

Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration announced Thursday night that it intends to send the federal government a revised financing plan for the privatization of six state-run hospitals by the end of the week. Louisiana will have to adjust the fiscal arrangement that governs some of its medical facilities for the poor and uninsured or face potential turmoil in its operating budget in 2015. The state would have to pay back at least $200 million to the federal government if an agreement over how to structure the hospitals’ privatizations can’t be reached.

Lawmakers back closure of LSU’s Pineville hospital
Source: Associated Press, May 14, 2014

Gov. Bobby Jindal received legislative permission Wednesday to shutter the LSU-run public hospital in Pineville as part of a health care privatization deal for central Louisiana. The House voted 65-29 to give final passage to legislation authorizing the closure of the university-run Huey P. Long Medical Center in Pineville and the transfer of its services to two nearby private hospitals, CHRISTUS St. Frances Cabrini Hospital and Rapides Regional Medical Center.

Lafayette hospital privatization runs over budget
Source: Melinda Deslatte, Associated Press, May 9, 2014

Gov. Bobby Jindal’s privatization deal for the LSU hospital in Lafayette was running $6 million over budget by April’s end, with two months remaining in the fiscal year, raising questions about whether the contracts could cost more than anticipated. The overspending was detailed in an update to lawmakers about payments made for the outsourcing contracts involving nine state-owned, LSU hospitals for the budget year that ends June 30. The hospitals are safety-net facilities that care for the poor and uninsured.

Our Views: For Jindal, all is well
Source: Advocate, May 11, 2014

If you are the governor of a small state and you criticize the president of the United States every time you take a breath, then you ask the health agency in the president’s administration for a very significant discretionary waiver — what do you expect to get?

Put that way, we wonder why anyone thought Gov. Bobby Jindal had much of a prayer for the waiver he used to fund a privatization of most of the state’s old charity hospitals. Because not only did the financing provisions deserve scrutiny under federal rules — Louisiana has cheated the U.S. government in various ways many times in the past — the waiver was constructed to pad the state budget that is chronically in crisis under Jindal’s administration.

Feds reject LSU hospital deals
Source: Associated Press, May 2, 2014

Federal officials on Friday rejected financing plans by Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration on deals to privatize six state-run hospitals, a decision that threatens contracts that already have been used to turn over hospital management. The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS, notified the state health department that it refused to sign off on the plans. The agency said the agreements don’t meet federal guidelines governing how Medicaid dollars can be spent….The decision was a significant blow to the Jindal administration and could create massive upheaval in the state’s budget. The budget was balanced this year assuming that hundreds of millions of dollars of federal funding would flow into the hospitals. Jindal didn’t wait for federal approval before he shifted management, so the hospitals are now operating under financing plans that have been rejected. The rejections involved plans for LSU-run hospitals in New Orleans, Lafayette, Houma, Lake Charles, Shreveport and Monroe….But only one contractual arrangement has received federal approval, a deal that shuttered LSU’s Earl K. Long Medical Center in Baton Rouge and transferred most of its inpatient services to a private hospital, Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center….

Federal government rejects Jindal hospital plans
Source: Marsha Shuler, Advocate, May 5, 2014

The federal government Friday rejected the Jindal administration’s financing plan for privatizing the administration of LSU hospitals. The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services questioned the administration’s use of $260.8 million in advance lease payments to prop up the deals involving six public hospitals, including those in New Orleans, Lafayette and Houma. If the decision stands, the state would have to find another way to cover those payments. …. The private hospital companies leasing the state’s charity hospitals agreed to pay up-front a larger proportion of their long-term leases, which would result in paying lesser amounts toward the end of the contracts. But Tavenner wrote the arrangement amounted to Louisiana trying to get extra federal Medicaid dollars to repay private managers for those advanced lease payments…..

La. Senate backs Jindal’s plan to close LSU hospital in Pineville, part of privatization deal
Source: Melinda Deslatte, Associated Press, April 08, 2014

Gov. Bobby Jindal’s plan to shutter the LSU public hospital in Pineville and shift its services to two private hospitals in central Louisiana received support Tuesday from the state Senate. Jindal wants to close the university-run Huey P. Long Medical Center and move its services to CHRISTUS St. Frances Cabrini Hospital and Rapides Regional Medical Center. It would be the Republican governor’s ninth and final privatization deal for the LSU public hospital system. …

Forced Charity: LSU Hospital System Makeover
Source: Sue Lincoln, WWNO NPR, March 26, 2014

It’s been nearly a year since the state started implementing public-private partnerships for the LSU Hospital System, formerly known as Louisiana’s Charity Hospitals. The plan was pushed as a cost-saver for the state. How is it working out? Good for some and not so good for others—with patients and hospital caregivers caught in the middle. …. And the question remains: is Louisiana really saving money with the LSU Hospital public-private partnerships? Gregory says it does not appear so.

Privatized hospitals short of money
Source: Marsha Shuler, Advocate, February 4, 2014

The Jindal administration’s budget is coming up short of funds to cover some costs related to the privatization of LSU hospitals, according to a Legislative Fiscal Office report. There could be as much as a $13.75 million shortfall related to hospital retiree insurance benefit costs for which the state is on the hook, fiscal analyst Alan Boxberger wrote. …. At the end of December, the administration revised its estimate of needed funding to $19 million to $20 million. The reduction came partially because of fewer retirees than originally projected and the phased implementation of privatization, the report said. Without the federal funding support, there is approximately a $10 million shortfall to cover the expense.

8th LSU hospital ready to go private
Source: Advocate, February 3, 2014

… LSU’s Bogalusa Medical Center is scheduled to convert to private operation March 17, LSU system Vice President Frank Opelka said Friday. The charity hospital also gets a new name — Our Lady of Angels Hospital — as the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health Center System take over. The hospital becomes the eighth of LSU’s 10 hospitals to undergo privatization under the Jindal administration. The Legislature will be asked to close a ninth hospital — Huey P. Long Medical Center in Pineville — during the legislative session, which opens March 10. Under the plan, two private hospitals in Alexandria would assume care for Huey P. Long patients through a contract called a cooperative endeavor agreement. The 10th hospital — Lallie Kemp Regional Medical Center, in Independence — will continue to be operated by LSU. …

New LSU hospital manager asks state for more money
Source: Melinda DeSlatte, Associated Press, January 28, 2014

The research foundation running LSU’s Shreveport and Monroe hospitals under a privatization deal crafted by Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration is asking the state to pay for more than $120 million in hospital improvements and expansions. …. “Something is a little odd about that. The main reasons that I understood that we were privatizing is because it was going to bring relief to our taxpayers,” said Rep. Roy Burrell, D-Shreveport, whose district includes one of the hospitals managed by BRF. …

Insight: Hospital Privatization Fodder for Legislative Session and Governor’s Race
Source: Amy Jeffries, WRKF, January 27, 2014
(audio)

A recent report by the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana concludes that with the privatization of the charity hospital system, Louisiana’s safety net is being reinvented. The reinvention will likely come up again in the legislature when it convenes in March as lawmakers dig up debate on Medicaid expansion under Obamacare. And the candidates for governor will be staking out positions on healthcare reform.

Auditor: Revenues up, costs down after privatizing charity hospitals
Source: Mark Ballard, Advocate, January 1, 2014

In an analysis that a Lafayette hospital had overcharged some patients, the Louisiana legislative auditor calculated the privatization of most of the state’s charity hospital system saves taxpayers $271.2 million in salaries and could create revenues of $3.4 billion. …

A New Safety Net: The risk and reward of Louisiana’s Charity hospital privatization
Source: Don Gregory, Alison Neustrom, Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana, Publication 333, December 2013

In the past year, Louisiana’s hospital safety net has been reinvented but not discarded. After a sudden reduction in federal health care financing, Louisiana embarked on a new path by privatizing the operations of its state hospitals while continuing to provide medical education managed by its public universities. Uninsured adults in Louisiana have long relied on government-subsidized care at the state-run “Charity” hospitals. Estimates for 2011 indicate 291,000 to 419,000 uninsured adults in Louisiana were at or below 138 percent of the Federal Poverty Level. There were 93,453 more uninsured adults than there were in 2009. The Charity hospital system in 2011 had 1.76 million outpatient encounters and 63,814 discharges from inpatient care, nearly half for uninsured adults. ….. This report will describe the traditional approach Louisiana has taken to health care for the uninsured and contrast it with the new model. Changes in financing, administration and service delivery will be described broadly and the specifics of each local agreement will be explained. This report will highlight key policy aspects of the transition. ….

Privatization of LSU’s hospital in Bogalusa pushed back 2 months, to take effect in March
Source: Associated Press, December 13, 2013

Plans to transfer oversight of LSU’s rural Bogalusa hospital to private management will be delayed by two months. Frank Opelka, leader of the LSU hospital system, told the university system’s Board of Supervisors on Friday about the change. The Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System, which operates four private hospitals in Louisiana, was scheduled to take control Jan. 6 of LSU’s Bogalusa Medical Center, a hospital that cares for the poor and uninsured and trains medical students. …

Jindal’s privatization of LSU hospitals cuts retirement system debt by shrinking state payroll
Source: Melinda DeSlatte, Associated Press, November 6, 2013

The Jindal administration’s layoff of more than 7,700 LSU hospital workers has put a major dent in the state employee retirement system’s debt, dropping it hundreds of millions of dollars. Gov. Bobby Jindal pushed to turn over the operations of LSU hospitals to private companies. Seven deals have taken effect. Many laid off state workers have been rehired by the new hospital managers. …. However, the layoffs also will force state agencies to pay larger contribution rates next year for employee retirement, because the workforce paying off the retirement debt is now smaller.

Civil Service panel OKs LSU hospital privatization
Source: Associated Press, September 4, 2013

Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration won approval Wednesday from the Civil Service Commission for the privatization of the LSU hospitals in Shreveport and Monroe, which will remove nearly 3,300 people from state employment rolls. The 4-1 commission vote was the final step needed for the Oct. 1 start date of the outsourcing contract and allows the university system to lay off 3,262 hospital workers at LSU Medical Center in Shreveport and the E.A. Conway Medical Center in Monroe. Those employees can reapply with the nonprofit research foundation that will take over management of the hospitals. John Dailey, vice chancellor of LSU Health Shreveport, said more than 90 percent of employees who sought to remain in their jobs are being rehired by the Biomedical Research Foundation of Northwest Louisiana, or BRF. At least 600 hospital workers applied for retirement rather than reapply for their positions, and LSU officials acknowledged those who transfer to BRF employment will have lessened benefits and less lucrative retirement packages….

Jindal touts LSU hospital privatization deals as new urgent care clinic opens in Baton Rouge
Source: Associated Press, September 3, 2013

A new LSU urgent care clinic opened Tuesday in north Baton Rouge, managed by a local private hospital as part of Gov. Bobby Jindal’s efforts to outsource university system health facilities. Jindal used the ribbon-cutting to highlight the privatization efforts, which he said have improved services for people who rely on the LSU network of hospitals and clinics for care…. LSU’s hospital in Baton Rouge, Earl K. Long Medical Center, was shuttered in April. Most of its services were shifted to Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center. The new LSU urgent care clinic in the city also is run by Our Lady of the Lake. The clinic replaces a temporary location and treats walk-in patients for non-emergency needs, like broken bones, minor injuries and flu-like symptoms. The facility is open around-the-clock and is designed to keep the uninsured from more expensive emergency room care….

Privatization deal set for north Louisiana LSU hospitals
Source: Associated Press, August 6, 2013

Management of two LSU hospitals in north Louisiana is being turned over to a nonprofit research foundation that has never run a patient care facility, raising concerns about whether it has the experience and the financing needed to oversee the public hospitals. The privatization of the university-run hospitals in Shreveport and Monroe is in contrast to the approach Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration took in south Louisiana, where nearly all of LSU’s facilities are being overseen by companies that run other private hospitals in the area.

LSU medical center employee speaks out about takeover
Source: Victoria Shirley, KSLA, July 26, 2013

A health care worker is speaking out about the recent LSU Medical Center takeover plans. The private company taking over is Biomedical Research Foundation. They will take over management by October 1st. It was formally announced Thursday that all 23-hundred employees at LSU Health Shreveport will be laid off, they will have to re-apply. …

Legislator questions impact of privatization on women’s health care
Source: Marsha Shuler, Advocate, June 22, 2013

Much of the women’s health care provided at LSU’s hospital in Bogalusa will continue after its takeover by a Catholic-affiliated group, but no birth control services or abortions will be done, hospital executives said Friday. The exceptions based on religious reasons caught the attention of some members of the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget as the legislators reviewed the agreement allowing the private group to take over the public hospital…

LSU hospital deal questioned
Source: Tom Aswell, Tri-Parish Times, June 18, 2013

The Louisiana Civil Service Commission notwithstanding, the state may not yet be out of the woods with its plan to privatize nine of 10 LSU hospitals and clinics that provide medical care for the state’s poor and uninsured, as well as serve as training sites for many of the state’s medical students. A spokesman for the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in Dallas said last week that it still has not received answers to all its questions put to the state in a Jan. 30 letter and the continued flow of hundreds of millions of dollars in federal Medicaid funds could hinge on satisfactory responses by the state to those questions….

Civil Service clears layoffs of hospital employees
Source: Mike Hasten, Advertiser, June 10, 2013

The Louisiana Civil Service Commission has cleared the way for the state to lay off nearly 4,000 employees at LSU hospitals in Lafayette, Lake Charles, Houma and New Orleans. With a 3-2 vote, the commission cleared the way for 3,976 employees, 2,771 of whom are classified state Civil Service, to receive pink slips effective “at the end of business June 23.” State officials contend that most of the state hospital workers would be hired by the private partners that are assuming control of the hospitals. Several already have signed contracts to retain some currently LSU hospital employees. …

Panel approves hospital takeovers
Source: Marsha Shuler, Advocate, June 10, 2013

…The deals call for the private takeover of LSU hospitals in New Orleans, Lafayette, Houma and Lake Charles effective June 24. More than 3,500 state employees, both classified and unclassified, will lose their jobs as a result of the move. More than half of those affected work at the Interim Hospital in New Orleans. The commission last week rejected the privatization plans pushed by the Jindal administration on a 4-3 vote amid complaints that LSU provided insufficient information. On Monday, two commissioners were absent — one supporter and one opponent….

Civil Service Commission rejects hospital privatization plans
Source: Marsha Shuler, Advocate, June 6, 2013

The state Civil Service Commission on Wednesday narrowly rejected privatization plans for four LSU hospitals that would lead to the layoff of some 3,000 state employees. Some commissioners complained about the lack of information provided by LSU as they were confronted with making such a major decision. An LSU official said efforts would be made to get the commission to reconsider its decision prior to the planned June 24 transition from public to private operation of hospitals in New Orleans, Lafayette, Houma and Lake Charles.

Report breaks down possible cost of hospital privatization
Source: WAFB, Updated: May 13, 2013 5:11 AM EDT

Plans to privatize hospitals within the LSU system could cost the state of Louisiana about $42 million up front and up to $26 million each year. Those numbers are from a report by the Louisiana Legislative Auditor. More than 1,700 jobs have already been cut from the seven hospitals and another 5,200 in all are expected to be eliminated.

Louisiana State University Health Care Services Division Network Hospital Closure/Privatization
Source: Financial Audit Services Informational Report, May 8, 2013

Jindal won’t seek legislative approval of hospital privatization agreements
Source: Mike Hasten, News Star, April 18, 2013

Gov. Bobby Jindal says his administration is taking LSU hospital privatization agreements to the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget but only for review, not approval, like House members want. The House and Senate have approved resolutions requiring legislative approval — the Senate wants its Finance Committee to have to sign off on the contracts and the House wants the JCLB to have to vote to approve, not just review, the contracts.

LSU board approves privatization of New Orleans, Lafayette hospitals
Source: Jeff Adelson, Times-Picayune, April 17, 2013

The Louisiana State University Board of Supervisors unanimously signed off on the privatizations of public hospitals in New Orleans and Lafayette Wednesday. The proposal is part of a statewide push to privatization among the state’s public hospitals in the wake of a reduction in the federal Medicaid funding Louisiana receives.

La. AG says Jindal doesn’t need legislative approval to privatize LSU hospitals
Source: Melinda Deslatte, Associated Press, April 12, 2013

Gov. Bobby Jindal’s plans to privatize the LSU-run public hospitals that care for the poor and uninsured don’t require legislative approval, the attorney general’s office said Thursday. The opinion from Attorney General Buddy Caldwell’s office was released to Rep. Jared Brossett, D-New Orleans, who asked for the legal guidance. Jindal health care officials have said they didn’t intend to seek a legislative vote for the individual privatization agreements because the law doesn’t require approval.

LSU hospitals in north La. set for privatization
Source: Melinda Deslatte, Associated Press, March 27, 2013

The LSU Board of Supervisors agreed Wednesday to negotiate turning over the operations of university-run hospitals in Shreveport and Monroe to a nonprofit research foundation whose interim president sits on the LSU board. The board backed an arrangement that LSU officials expect to lead to the Biomedical Research Foundation of Northwest Louisiana taking over management of the LSU Health Sciences Center in Shreveport and E.A. Conway Medical Center in Monroe and their clinics….

Hospital privatization could impact thousands of state employees
Source: Marsha Shuler, Advocate, March 11, 2013

Much of the budget savings associated with the Jindal administration’s privatization of LSU public hospitals comes from a $400 million reduction in funding for employee pay and benefits as hospital workers lose their state jobs across south Louisiana. Gov. Bobby Jindal’s proposed $24.7 billion budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1, strips funding for hospitals in Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Lafayette, Houma, Bogalusa and Lake Charles, impacting potentially about 5,000 employee jobs.

Budgets for public hospitals depend on privatization agreements / Legislators question moving forward
Source: Michelle Millhollon, Advocate, February 25, 2013

…Jindal plans to turn eight public hospitals in Louisiana over to the private sector in a move he contends will save the state money. But partnership agreements are only in place for five of the hospitals. And those agreements are not final….

…Ten public hospitals in Louisiana provide care to the uninsured, either through the oversight of LSU Health Care Services or the LSU system. In a move that could eliminate thousands of state government jobs, Jindal is restructuring the state’s public hospital and graduate medical education system….

Privatization plans for LSU hospitals approved
Source: Melinda Deslatte, Associated Press, December 14, 2012

The LSU Board of Supervisors agreed Friday to privatize the operations of its public hospitals in New Orleans, Houma and Lafayette that provide safety net care for the uninsured and help train medical students. Management of the hospitals and their outpatient clinics will be turned over to nonprofit corporations that run private hospitals in the regions, under plans pushed by Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration….

…Lease terms are under negotiation and haven’t been released. The nonprofit corporations agreed to put up about $30 million in initial “milestone payments” as part of the deals, with additional lease payments to be required to manage the hospitals. The Louisiana Children’s Medical Center, which operates Children’s Hospital and Touro Infirmary, will lease the Interim LSU Public Hospital in New Orleans and the new $1 billion, 424-bed medical training and research center set to open in two years. Ochsner Health System and Terrebonne General Medical Center will manage the LSU hospital in Houma, the L.J. Chabert Medical Center and its outpatient clinics. Lafayette General Health System will operate the LSU hospital in Lafayette, the University Medical Center and its clinics…..