LSU Health System to Slash 1,500 Jobs in New Austerity Plan

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The board of directors of Baton Rouge-based Louisiana State University Health System has approved a $151.8 million budget cut plan that will lay off nearly 1,500 employees starting in January 2013, according to a Shreveport Times report.

The $151.8 million in cuts will represent a 19 percent reduction to LSU Health System's budget, and the 1,487 layoffs will equate to a 24 percent staff reduction, according to the report.

The layoffs will impact employees at seven hospitals across southern Louisiana — LSU Interim Hospital in New Orleans, Earl K. Long Medical Center in Baton Rough, W.O. Ross Regional Medical Center in Lake Charles, Leonard J. Chabert Medical Center in Houma, Lallie Kemp Regional Medical Center in Independence, University Medical Center in Lafayette and Bogalusa Medical Center. Hospitals not affected are LSU Medical Center in Shreveport, E.A. Conway Medical Center in Monroe and Huey P. Long Medical Center in Alexandria.

Also part of the plan, LSU plans on cutting several inpatient beds from many of the affected hospitals.

The massive budget cut plan comes on the heels of the state's decision to slash healthcare funding. In July, the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals said it would cut $859.2 million from the state Medicaid program for fiscal year 2013, and LSU Health System was forced to swallow a large portion of the cuts. For example, its disproportionate share hospital funds, which are provided to safety-net providers, were cut by $122 million, and the system also saw its Medicaid reimbursement rates cut by 10 percent.

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