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Lawmakers to exam Biomed deal to take over LSU Health Shreveport - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Local lawmakers to exam Biomed deal to take over LSU Health Shreveport

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SHREVEPORT, La -

The contract to turn LSU Health Shreveport over to the Biomedical Research Foundation will get an exam Friday. The Joint Legislative Budget Committee will take a close look, and possibly tweak the privatization deal before it likely takes effect October 1.

Those lawmakers will meet in Baton Rouge to consider details of the contract -- like the nearly $39 million a year lease Biomed will pay for the hospital, with monthly payments of about $3.2 million.

One possible red flag with some lawmakers is the state's required Medicaid daily reimbursements. If they fall short, lawmakers will have to figure out some way to make them up.

But, says Rep. Alan Seabaugh, R-Shreveport, "That's always going to be a problem."

He says adjustments always have to be made since lawmakers set the budget early in the year. And Seabaugh says the Biomed contract for LSU Health Shreveport must go forward.

"If we don't do something right now, we may end up losing if not the hospital, at least the medical school, which would be devastating to this area," Seabaugh warns.

He points to the economic benefit of LSU Health as one of the city's biggest employers, with thousands of medical interns, most of whom Seabaugh says stay in the area.

And Rep. Henry Burns, R-Bossier Parish, vows, "We will respond and make up that difference."

Burns says making sure health care for the poor is paid for is a top priority.

"The one thing I can't tell you is exactly where the money comes from," Burns says. "But that could cause some other activity to have less money."

Burns hopes rising state revenues -- up eight percent this year -- could be a trend that helps stem any Medicaid funding shortfall.

He expects LSU Health Shreveport's workforce to be trimmed by about 10 percent under Biomed. But he wants to make sure patient care doesn't see a reduction.

Seabaugh believes private management of the hospital will be better than being run by the state government.

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