Nurses urge AG to intervene in sale of Louisiana hospitals

Members of the National Nurses United are asking Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry to intervene in New Orleans-based LCMC Health's plans to acquire three Tulane University hospitals from Nashville, Tenn.-based HCA Healthcare.

LCMC Health announced the plans Oct. 10 to acquire New Orleans-based Tulane Medical Center; Covington, La.-based Lakeview Regional Medical Center; and Metairie, La.-based Tulane Lakeside Hospital from HCA.

State regulators must still approve the deal. However, if the transaction is finalized, it would result in "a two-system duopoly in New Orleans" and provide LCMC Health and its competitor, New Orleans-based Ochsner Health, "unrestrained leverage over patients and healthcare workers," union members wrote in a letter to Mr. Landry sent Oct. 28.  

"We fear this goes against the public interest, by leading to further consolidation, higher healthcare prices, and cuts to vital services," the letter reads. "If your office approves this deal, we ask for contract conditions requiring LCMC to maintain all facilities and services, along with incorporating RN and patient priorities into the final sale agreement."

In a statement shared with Becker's, Allison Guste, LCMC Health vice president of quality and nursing, showed support for the partnership, saying it aims to address the estimated 2,475 unfilled full-time nursing positions in New Orleans by 2025. 

Ms. Guste also said the partnership will "expand healthcare services both downtown and in neighboring parishes," and that HCA employees at Tulane Medical Center, Tulane Lakeside Hospital and Lakeview Regional Medical Center will continue to have jobs.

"LCMC Health and Tulane University employees will have new and expanded opportunities for growth and advancement," she added.

Read the full letter here.

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