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.”
A federal jury found attorney Daniel Stanford guilty Friday afternoon on eight of 13 counts for his role in the Curious Goods conspiracy.
Lafayette City-Court Judge Francie Bouillion has served on the bench for two decades since winning a special election to replace Judge Kaliste Saloom when he retired in 1994.
The magazine's senior football writer also predicts a break-out year for Saints fourth-year running back Mark Ingram.
Gulf Coast ceremonies marking the ninth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina have begun.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries says there is little known about the effects of tiger prawns on indigenous Louisiana shrimp. But, officials say the reports they're seeking will help state biologists monitor the distribution of the prawns and determine the possible presence of spawning populations.
Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh rested his regulars and watched with delight as Ray Rice's backups ground out 214 yards rushing in a 22-13 victory over the New Orleans Saints on Thursday night.
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
Google vs. Amazon in drone race; more deaths in Syria; Russia escalates Ukraine conflict and more national and international news for Friday, August 29, 2014.
High-profile criminal defense attorney Daniel Stanford awaits his fate in the Curious Goods conspiracy trial.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is set to put the kibosh on the legal ownership of monkeys trained to help the disabled, and the agency wants to know what you think.
A federal judge on Thursday asked lawyers battling over Louisiana's new, restrictive abortion law for an agreement that apparently could let clinics stay open — at least for a while — after the law takes effect Sept. 1.
An abortion rights organization wants a federal judge to block enforcement of Louisiana's new abortion law while its lawsuit to overturn the law makes its way through court.
Republican presidential prospects Ted Cruz and Bobby Jindal are planning to speak at an Iowa Christian conservative event in September.
The attention surrounding Victor White III has spiked with the release of last week’s autopsy report, which has raised a number of serious questions about the night of his death and has put the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office under an increased wave of scrutiny as more national media outlets are jumping on the story, most recently seen on MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show.
A group supporting taxpayer-funded private school tuition vouchers is appealing a federal judge's order that Louisiana must provide regular reports to federal officials on the state's voucher program.
The Discovery Channel has canceled reality TV star Will Hayden's popular "Sons of Guns" show after his arrest on an aggravated rape charge.
The LPSB will finally hear from the attorney it hired to investigate the superintendent at a special meeting Thursday at 4 p.m.
Authorities are investigating a report that a student there warned the principal of impending violence similar to that depicted in the movie "The Purge."
Saints cornerback Champ Bailey has played for more than a handful of playoff teams during a career that has seen him selected to 12 Pro Bowls.
Police say a 56-year-old Lafayette man walking behind a dump truck died when the truck hit him as it was backing up.
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees is a proud papa of new baby girl.
The books on Louisiana's last budget year have been closed, but it took a bit of borrowing from this year to make the numbers work.
The Iberia Parish Coroner responded Monday to the attention surrounding the questionable shooting of Victor White III, a black man from New Iberia who died April 2 while in the custody of local law enforcement.
Two months after lawmakers agreed to create a $40 million higher education incentive fund, no decisions have been made about how to divide the money.
With Drew Brees back healthy, the New Orleans Saints are free to work on the little things that can make the difference between a Super Bowl run and something less.