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LCMC Health makes case for $150M acquisition of 3 HCA hospitals

At a Dec. 8 public hearing, New Orleans-based LCMC Health officials made their case to the office of the Louisiana Attorney General for the system's planned acquisition of three Tulane University hospitals in Baton Rouge, La., nola.com reported Dec. 8. 

The meeting was well-attended by employees of the Tulane hospitals, with opinions split on whether the $150 million acquisition of the Nashville, Tenn.-based HCA Healthcare hospitals should go through.

Members of National Nurses United previously argued against the plan to acquire the hospitals in Baton Rouge, rather than in New Orleans, where union members say residents would be most affected if the deal is approved. 

At the meeting, a group of nurses spoke against the sale and demanded recognition of a new union, saying they felt blindsided and have few details on how better patient care and treatment for staff will be achieved, according to the report. More than 300 nurses signed a petition sent to HCA demanding to have a say in the future of Tulane Medical Center in New Orleans and no cuts to jobs or salaries.

"We are the ones who are holding your family's hands when they die, we are the ones who are cleaning your family when they are soiled," said Michael Robertshaw, an ICU nurse at Tulane Medical Center, according to nola.com. "Nobody is asking the nurses on the ground who are doing the hard work day in and day out what we think, and that needs to happen."

About 30 people spoke in favor of the deal, including Tulane Medical Center physicians, students and staff as well as LCMC administrators and nursing administrators. They argued that the deal would lead to improved patient care and help attract and retain more physicians.

The sale has also come under scrutiny for its potential to increase healthcare costs in the community. If completed, New Orleans would become a healthcare duopoly, with just Ochsner Health and LCMC operating all hospitals in the area, according to the report. 

The Louisiana Attorney General will decide whether to allow the sale by Feb. 16.

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