New Orleans medical school in possible financial 'death spiral' amid proposed state budget cuts, says dean

The dean of the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center New Orleans School of Medicine said thousands of medical school employees could potentially lose their jobs if proposed state budget cuts are finalized, according to WDSU.

Louisiana is dealing with a budget shortfall of about $1 billion for the fiscal year that begins July 1. Amid the projected shortfall, the Louisiana Health Department is slated for $1.8 billion in cuts, the report states. The cuts, if finalized, could mean closure of the LSUHSC School of Medicine, affecting more than 2,000 workers, according to Steve Nelson, MD, the medical school's dean.

He told WDSU: "If the hospitals decide they are not going to maintain their relationship with us and withdraw from these partnerships because they are not funded, it is beyond my capability to see how the medical school could stay open. This is a death spiral almost like a row of dominoes; once you start, it just keeps going until the whole thing implodes."

Dr. Nelson also noted in the report more graduates from his medical school are leaving Louisiana amid the state budget woes.

The LSUHSC School of Medicine isn't the only healthcare entity speaking out or reacting to the potential state budget cuts. At the end of last month, Lafayette (La.) General Health issued termination warning letters to nearly 800 employees, Also, the Louisiana Health Department sent Medicaid termination warnings to 37,000 beneficiaries May 10.


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