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.”
State Rep. Joel Robideaux, R-Lafayette, surprised few in the Hub City Wednesday afternoon when he made (semi) official what most of us have known for months: He is running to replace Joey Durel as city-parish president.
Louisiana's first black Republican state senator since Reconstruction — who was a Republican before he was a Democrat before he was a Republican again — is accusing Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu of using the black community for votes and providing nothing in return.
LSU's governing board has backed new hospital privatization contracts that give hospital managers greater ease to leave the deal and fewer restrictions about must-have services.
U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu is courting young voters in several appearances across Louisiana this week, talking about her support for legislation that could lower students' college costs.
Coton de tulear joins Westminster; Paypal splitting from Ebay; first US Ebola diagnosis and more national and international news for Wednesday, October 1, 2014.
Wednesday's Blogs from the Bog!
Stage 4 vet takes on cancer and reminds us all what it really means to get involved.
Is Mary fading as Vitter solidifies his lock on the fourth floor?
Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration has renegotiated contracts for six LSU hospital privatization deals, hoping to reach a compromise with federal health officials that will keep Medicaid dollars flowing to the privatized patient services.
Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu is defending her record on gun rights, seeking to rebut sharp criticism from the NRA in a state where the right to bear arms is given special constitutional protection.
Citizens, you have less than a week to register to vote in the Nov. 4 election. Remember, if you don’t vote you can’t complain about the outcome. Well, you can but it’s kind of hypocritical.
After being forced out by its former landlords last year, the community garden has a new location and a 10-year lease.
The party says it has hit a milestone, reaching 10,000 registered voters in the state.
Defensive captain Junior Galette is disgusted by the Saints' sluggish start.
The use of $60 million in Louisiana's public school financing formula to pay for nearly three dozen charter schools violates the state constitution, a statewide teachers' union claimed Monday in a lawsuit.
February trial date indicates parties were unable to negotiate a settlement.
There was a time when United Ballot had a political stranglehold so tight on Lafayette’s black community it was nearly unbreakable, but that grip might be loosening.
The race for Lafayette city marshal may not be the most exciting of this year’s local political contests, but it could prove the most historic.
With the DA’s race too close to call and negative media coverage of Mike Harson on the ebb, will challenger Keith Stutes take the gloves off?
Gov. Bobby Jindal has been viewed as a health care policy wonk, and he's tried to build on that image ahead of a likely 2016 presidential campaign, positioning himself as the candidate with substantive ideas.
Jerry Jones watched what he called the best effort he's seen in 25 years as owner of the Dallas Cowboys in the first half, and that was before Tony Romo had the longest scramble of his career and DeMarco Murray finished off yet another 100-yard game.
Two of the most recognizable women in Republican politics, Sarah Palin and Mary Matalin, have been heavily involved in Louisiana’s current election cycle.
Even though the Louisiana Democratic Party has thrown its support behind former Gov. Edwin Edwards’ congressional bid, national Democrats are not expected to follow suit.
“[Mike] is no longer the energetic ADA that his recent ad is trying to portray. I just think Mike needs to get the hell out.” — Kermit Harson, DA Mike Harson’s brother
The New Orleans Saints have listed Jonathan Goodwin as questionable for Sunday night's game in Dallas, raising the prospect that second-year pro Tim Lelito will start at center for the first time.