Hearing set on hospital closure

A 19th Judicial District Court hearing has been set for June 13 in a lawsuit seeking to block the closure of LSU’s Huey P. Long Medical Center in Pineville.

Ed Parker, of East Feliciana Parish, and Brad Ott, of New Orleans, contend the Legislature violated the open meetings law in the decision-making process, which would void the closure action.

Ott said proper notice was not given when the closure resolution for the chairty hospital known as the Huey P. came up for approval in a state Senate committee.

The lawsuit was filed against the Louisiana Senate, the LSU Board of Supervisors and the state of Louisiana.

Legislative approval was needed for the closure of the hospital, part of Jindal administration plans to shift care of the poor and uninsured into the private sector.

The Huey P. is the last of nine LSU hospitals to be impacted by privatization.

The case will be heard by 19th Judicial District Judge Kay Bates in Baton Rouge.

LSU has submitted an employee layoff plan to state Civil Service covering more than 100 classified employees. The proposed effective date is June 30.

Civil Service has not yet approved the plan. Its next meeting is not scheduled until early July.

LSU has kept the hospital open on a limited basis.

Two Alexandria private hospitals are the new LSU partners to provide both inpatient and out-patient health care for those who traditionally go to the Pineville hospital.

Follow Marsha Shuler on Twitter @MarshaShulerCNB. For more coverage of the state capitol, follow Louisiana Politics at http://blogs.theadvocate.com/politicsblog/.