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.”
The Lafayette superintendent insists the budget is illegal and vows to fight on.
"I am not a scientist," Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has said numerous times, a response that other members of his party have parroted.
Republicans are running strong races against endangered Democratic incumbents in states such as North Carolina, Colorado, Arkansas, Louisiana and Alaska. Republicans are also looking to replace retiring Democrats in Iowa and West Virginia with a GOP lawmaker.
Republican congressman Vance McAllister is trying to make up to Louisiana voters for getting too close to a married former employee.
You may not like all of “it,” but U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, unlike many of her colleagues, isn't sitting around twiddling her thumbs in Congress.
Saints safety Kenny Vaccaro says he "can't wait" to play against Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
The heat keeps rising for Iberia Parish Sheriff Louis Ackal as a new slate of corruption allegations surfaced this week.
If opposing defenses sell out to stop the Packers' passing game, they risk being gashed by powerful running back Eddie Lacy, a New Orleans-area native.
At the horn the officiating crew trotted to the tunnel and left security personnel to clean up after them.
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
Sign "ninjas" cleaning up clutter; NYC doctor positive for Ebola; Ferguson grand jury decision nears; and more national and international news for Friday, October 24, 2014.
We can safely assume incumbent Chief K.P. Gibson isn’t too worried about this challenger.
Nationally, Republicans must gain six seats to win Senate control. The most competitive races, many in states where Obama lost in 2012, remain too close to call.
The Baton Rouge Republican has repeatedly battled a perception within his own party that he perhaps wasn't the best choice to carry the GOP banner.
Even if Jimmy Graham's production dips while the star tight end recovers from a shoulder injury, it looks like Drew Brees won't have much trouble finding other targets.
A former campaign manager for Senate candidate Rob Maness is striking at the Republican contender's tea party support, saying Maness only sought to appeal to conservative organizations because he needed money for his campaign.
Ninety-two percent of public school teachers were rated either effective or highly effective in a report the state issued marking the second year of a new statewide evaluation process.
School board members Mark Babineaux, Hunter Beasley and Tehmi Chassion can vote to fire Cooper — because we all know that’s exactly what they’ll do.
District 2 school board candidate Simon Mahan is hoping to unseat first-term incumbent and former Carencro Mayor Tommy Angelle in the Nov. 4 election.
District Attorney Mike Harson is showing his desperation by falsely attributing quotes to his opponent and blocking journalists from his social media.
The governor is traveling the country laying the groundwork for a possible 2016 presidential campaign, but his approval ratings at home hover well below 50 percent.
State District Judge Bob Downing extended the order and delayed a planned Wednesday hearing about a permanent injunction while negotiations continue between Attorney General Buddy Caldwell and the waste disposal site operator.
New Louisiana higher education commissioner Joseph Rallo will be paid more than his predecessor.
Elijah McGuire and Alonzo Harris each had four rushing touchdowns, and Louisiana-Lafayette rolled to 419 yards on the ground in a 55-40 victory over Arkansas State on Tuesday night.
Bill and Hillary Clinton are the validators-in-chief for Democrats struggling through a bleak campaign season in states where President Barack Obama is deeply unpopular.