8th LSU hospital ready to go private

LSU’s Bogalusa Medical Center is scheduled to convert to private operation March 17, LSU system Vice President Frank Opelka said Friday.

The charity hospital also gets a new name — Our Lady of Angels Hospital — as the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health Center System take over.

The hospital becomes the eighth of LSU’s 10 hospitals to undergo privatization under the Jindal administration.

The Legislature will be asked to close a ninth hospital — Huey P. Long Medical Center in Pineville — during the legislative session, which opens March 10. Under the plan, two private hospitals in Alexandria would assume care for Huey P. Long patients through a contract called a cooperative endeavor agreement.

The 10th hospital — Lallie Kemp Regional Medical Center, in Independence — will continue to be operated by LSU.

Opelka gave a brief hospital status report to the LSU Board of Supervisors.

Opelka said the cooperative endeavor agreement with the Franciscan Missionaries has been finalized.

The next step is for LSU to get approval of a state employee layoff plan from the Civil Service Commission, he said. The commission is scheduled to consider the plan Wednesday. Some 500 employees were on the hospital staff as negotiations began. Updated numbers were not available Friday afternoon.

“We are expecting, if all goes well, for the transfer of operations to occur March 17,” said Opelka.

The Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady also runs Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge.

The Lake’s campus is home to LSU’s medical education and patient care once delivered through LSU’s now-closed Earl K. Long Medical Center.