$70 million in cuts to Dept. of Health and Hospitals affect University Health

$70 million in cuts to Dept. of Health and Hospitals affect University Health
BRF, formerly known as Biomedical Research Foundation, took control of the Shreveport and Monroe hospitals in October 2013 and operates them as University Health System. (Source: KSLA News 12)

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - $70 million will be cut from the Department of Health and Hospitals to close the current year's budget gap.

$40 million of that money was found in savings and administration changes, but $30 million in total will come from hospitals and other programs.

Ten hospitals across the state, including University Health in Shreveport will have to slash their budgets by 1.5 percent.

"It's disappointing to see the hospitals be cut any money," said Sen. Greg Tarver, (D) Shreveport.

It is a much smaller number than it could have been. According to a spokesperson for University Health, $3.2 million of both state and matching federal money will be cut from the budget this fiscal year.

Sen. Greg Tarver did not want any cuts to the hospital systems, but said this is a better outcome than what could have been.

"The med school was not cut at all, we managed to save the med school. And the hospital had minimum cuts," said Tarver.

Taking a closer look at those cuts, we have learned $500,000 will be eliminated from the Pediatric Day Health Care Program services, which helps care for special needs children.

"I'm very much concerned about that, to help the needy and the people who cannot help themselves. And we should have provided the necessary funding. But we did not raise enough revenue in the special session. People just didn't vote for it," said Tarver.

Tarver says the cuts will hurt, but not as bad as they could have.

The Chairman of University Health Board released this statement:

"Although we are disappointed that our funding has been reduced, we intend to minimize any potential impact to our patients. We prepared for budget uncertainties and will continue to manage the hospital by delaying some of our capital expenditures and by continuing to drive inefficiencies from the system as we have since we assumed operations. We are confident in our ability to continue to serve the north Louisiana community and the LSU Shreveport School of Medicine."

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