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Louisiana governor delays cutting ties with safety-net hospital operator

Democratic Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards postponed the potential termination of the state's partnership with Shreveport, La.-based BRF, which operates two safety-net hospitals in Shreveport and Monroe, La., according to The Times.

The governor reportedly planned to send a termination notice to the hospital operator Aug. 22, but delayed the action until after he meets with the northern Louisiana delegation. He was initially scheduled to meet with the delegation Aug. 24, but was forced to cancel the meeting due to weather concerns.

In a statement to The Times' parent company, Gov. Edwards' office said the administration "remain[s] optimistic that we will be able to come to an agreement. … The governor has repeatedly stated his commitment to medical education in northwestern Louisiana and to supporting the safety net hospitals in Shreveport and Monroe. This commitment is unwavering and the administration will take appropriate steps to make certain that quality medical care and training is provided to the citizens of this area."

BRF has refused to sign a memorandum of understanding with the state, citing unfair demands outlined in the proposed contract. BRF also contends Louisiana State University Shreveport, which co-operates the University Health facility in Shreveport along with BRF, "[has] worked to undermine BRF since BRF took over the two hospitals in 2013," the report states.

This is the second time Gov. Edwards has threatened to issue a breach notice to BRF. He issued a notice to the organization last fall, though both sides reached an agreement.

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