The Times-Pacayune, April 29, 2011
U.S. Sen. David Vitter continues to lambaste the development of the University Medical Center, questioning a decision to allow a consultant to reconsider some of its financial projections for the planned Charity Hospital successor. In a letter Thursday to UMC Board Chairman Bobby Yarborough, the senator criticized Yarborough's decision to cancel a May 5 board meeting at which Kaufman Hall & Associates of Illinois was scheduled to present findings that call the current 424-bed plan excessive, a complaint that Vitter has trumpeted for months. That presentation is now scheduled for June 2. Among the variables at issue is the number of insured patients that LSU physicians will be able steer to the new teaching hospital. Kaufman Hall's initial estimate pegs the number at 650-680 annually, about a third of what LSU has previously estimated. That variable is a key part of the state's plan to make the Charity successor an elite academic medical enterprise, beyond the more simplistic safety-net model of the old hospital and its temporary replacement, Interim LSU Public Hospital.