Medicaid cuts affect children the most

By Nick Guillory - email | bio | Twitter

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - The state of Louisiana is facing nearly 100 million dollars in Medicaid cuts. Some of the hardest hit hospitals are right here in the Ark-La-Tex.

Ark-La-Tex health care providers are reacting to the cuts. Shreveport's Christus Schumpert hospital officials said the area that will see the biggest effect from these cuts is the ICU where premature babies are cared for.

Parent's who use Medicaid to care for their children's health care, aren't taking this lightly.

"We'd have to claim bankruptcy or something of that nature. There would've been no way that we'd have been able to afford the care that they've given him," Sara Blackstock said.

She's talking about the care one of the hardest hit hospitals is currently giving her son.

Alone, Christus Schumpert is taking a 5 million dollar cut. It's a cut hospital officials say may affect the amount of Medicaid patient's it will be able to see.

"It's really a matter of how the state is handling these things. This is a long term problem for the state and something the state's going to have to look into," Sally Croom said.

Blackstock said it affects the already hardest hit people--the poor, elderly and young babies in ICU, where her baby Wyatt is recovering now.

"It's not fair for the elderly---and it sure as heck is not fair for the babies brought in innocently in this world-whatever needs to be done...needs to be done," Blackstock said.

Christus Schumpert said although it may affect the number the hospital might be able to see, patient care won't be affected.

The hospital still has questions for lawmakers on what's next for its patients who need the care most.

"Our hope is the people who need the care will continue to get it, but i think where? and how? we'll all have to work together to make it happen," Croom said.

The hospital said it has a safety net program set in place in cooperation with LSU Health Science Center to help Medicaid patients in case it can't.

Here's a closer look at how other Ark-La-Tex hospitals are affected:

According to the Louisiana Hospital Association, Christus Schumpert Health System loses $5 million.

Brentwood Hospital takes a cut of $577,000.

Willis Knighton Health System is cut a little more than $3 million and Minden Medical Center faces a $276,000 cut.

In all, the cuts are more than nine million dollars for the Shreveport area. Also, 179 people will lose their jobs.

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