According to a 2009 economic impact study from the Lafayette Economic Development Authority, the local charity hospital sees more than 200,000 patients a year and provides medical education, including residencies, to more than 500 health care professionals annually.
Labor and delivery and the ear, nose and throat clinic at University Medical Center are among some of the most critical services on the chopping block at UMC due to mid-year state budget cuts that leave doctors and hospital staffers in limbo about impending layoffs and program closures planned for March.
The Advertiser reports that the local charity hospital, if forced to eat its share of $29 million in mid-year budget cuts to the LSU Health System, could be forced to lay off 80 to 100 of its more than 900 employees and completely eliminate obstetricians, its neonatal ICU unit, its ophthalmology department and ENT services.
Citing his concerns about the potential program cuts, Dr. Duncan Hanby, whose wife runs the UMC ENT clinic three days per week, says the ENT clinic at UMC sees between 80 and 130 patients on a daily basis, many of whom have “head and neck cancer and other high acuity problems.”
“The vast majority of these patients have difficulty with transportation to UMC, much less another facility that would be hours away,” Hanby says. “These people will quite literally have no where else to go.”
Hospital Administrator Larry Dorsey tells the daily that the potential loss of hospital training programs, which according to the Lafayette Economic Development Authority provide education to more than 500 health care professionals a year, could impact the hospital’s accreditation process.
As The Advocate points out, the Jindal administration failed to inform the legislative budget committees about impending hospital cuts and layoffs when presenting the $251 million mid-year budget deficit last month, despite being directly asked about the status of hospitals:
State Senate Finance Committee Chairman Sen. Mike Michot, R-Lafayette, specifically asked about the impact on the LSU hospitals and was told by administration officials that the hospitals would get their budgeted amount.
According to a 2009 economic impact study done by LEDA, UMC is the 11th largest employer in Lafayette Parish, sees more than 200,000 patients every year and has a total economic impact of more than $255 million in Acadiana.
Also noted by LEDA is that UMC siphons only $6 million a year from the state’s general fund, in large part thanks to a 70-30 match in federal-to-state funding.
“University Medical Center provides easy access to persons who may not otherwise be eligible for medical care,” the LEDA study says. “There are no income thresholds to prevent patients from receiving care. The accessibility of [UMC] to patients of all income levels and local residencies makes it truly an asset to the community.”
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Friday, March 07, 2014:
Two Lafayette men have been revealed by police as the infamous duo behind a caper that shook our fair city to its core.
The Lafayette Parish School Board has received a second letter of demand related to last year’s insurance debacle, this time from Key Benefit Administrators claiming it’s owed $93,000 from the school system.
The Louisiana coastline is vanishing faster than mappers can keep track.
A bill that would have overridden local ordinances prohibiting public and private employers from discriminating against lesbian, gay and transgender people has been pulled within less than a week of being filed.
The panel that selects nominees for a controversial New Orleans area flood control board — a board that is suing more than 90 oil, gas and pipeline companies — is set to discuss legislation affecting its independence.
State prison officials cannot keep secret the seller and manufacturer of the two drugs purchased for executions at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.
State lawmakers will not appeal a judge's ruling that it was improper to use $3.7 million from a probation and parole officers' retirement fund to balance the state's operating budget.
Conservatives have been losing their minds over this satirical bit on the Colbert Report.
The Lafayette Parish School Board leaves a lot to be desired, but is scrapping the election process in favor of an appointed board the answer?
The House approved legislation Tuesday night to roll back a recently enacted overhaul of the federal flood insurance program, after homeowners in flood-prone areas complained about sharp premium increases.
The NFL has formally designated New Orleans' Jimmy Graham as a tight end for the purposes of his franchise tag value, which is now set at $7.05 million next season unless Graham and the Saints subsequently agree on a long-term deal.
A federal appeals panel ruled Monday that businesses don't have to prove that they were directly harmed by BP's 2010 Gulf Of Mexico oil spill to collect settlement payments.
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development has closed Interstate 10 from I-49 in Lafayette to Seigen Lane in Baton Rouge.
Jim Bernhard, who engineered the sale of The Shaw Group for $3 billion, recently has told several people involved in Democratic politics that he intends to run for governor in 2015.
A New Orleans levee board wants to hold the oil and gas industry accountable for decades of damage to our state’s coastline, but the Legislature may be poised to put the kibosh on the suit.
New standards curb elective induction
CVS stops tobacco sales
If an Acadia Parish fiddler misses a note while swatting a fly, will a St. Martinville accordionist learn “Ma ‘Tite Fille”?
(It's good, it's bad and it's just crazy)
Can state lawmakers find the nerve — and the votes — to neuter payday lenders?
A calm demeanor has served Gerald Boudreaux well — in his career, passion for sports and in life. And it could be just what his district needs in the state Senate.
Acadiana Catholics* react to Francis
The circumstances surrounding the Jan. 26 fire of the 18,000-square-foot home on Verot School Road seemed strange, but what's even more bizarre is the back-story behind owner Ralph Wadleigh.
Choice cuts from Acadiana's news media for Friday, Feb. 28, 2014: