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Louisiana public hospital cuts will affect uninsured patients

The Times Picayune, October 5, 2012

Louisiana's public hospital safety net will have to cut back dramatically the services it offers to uninsured patients across the state under a plan approved Thursday by the LSU Board of Supervisors. In New Orleans, a $49 million reduction at the Interim LSU Public Hospital will mean that 432 workers lose their jobs, while the number of patient beds will shrink from 201 to 155. Some clinics associated with the hospital will close, while others will reduce their hours. Dr. Frank Opelka, the new head of the seven LSU system hospitals in south Louisiana, told the board and legislators later in the day that the current model of delivering safety net care through the state hospitals is "unsustainable" over the long term.