SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - The board of directors of Shreveport non-profit firm Biomedical Research Foundation approved on Friday a memorandum to begin negotiating to manage and operate LSU hospitals in Shreveport and Monroe.
The Memorandum of Understanding sets the stage for Biomedical to talk with the LSU Board of Supervisors as early as Monday, Biomedical officials said in a release after the board's special meeting.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's budget relies on savings expected from turning public hospitals run by LSU over to private parties. The hospitals are struggling to fill budget gaps caused by state cuts.
The Jindal administration, however, said in the release that federal Medicaid changes necessitated the privatization effort.
"Congress's decision to dramatically reduce Louisiana Medicaid funding created an urgent need to move forward with a long overdue redesign of the state's public hospital system and medical education training programs," said Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals Secretary Bruce D. Greenstein.
Biomedical, a 501c(3) non-profit founded in 1986, already has a relationship with LSU Health in Shreveport, which is why the firm is interested in a partnership, said Jack Sharp, CEO.
"Over the past 20 years, the BRF has invested over $46 million to advance the research mission of LSU Health Shreveport. A stronger relationship with the hospitals will support our continued efforts to make LSU Health more prosperous in all facets of its work involving patient care, teaching and research," Sharp said.