Jeff Parish hospital lease bill passes Louisiana House

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Private entities could lease Jefferson Parish’s two public hospitals without a vote of the people under legislation that sailed through the Louisiana House on Tuesday.

The House voted 96-0 for the measure which now goes to the state Senate for debate.

House Bill 383 covers East Jefferson General Hospital and West Jefferson Medical Centers and the public’s now total control over them.

State Rep. Joe Lopinto, R-Metairie, said the legislation is aimed at helping the public service hospital districts “to hopefully sustain our hospitals over the long haul.”

There was no debate on the legislation which was requested by the Jefferson Parish Council.

Current law requires a voter referendum on sale or lease of the hospitals.

According to prior news accounts, the hospitals are evaluating three proposals from other health care systems for partnerships.