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Without a safety net: Abandoning LA's uninsured

The Atlantic, December 20, 2012

Earlier this year an uninsured patient at Lallie Kemp Medical Center, a small safety net hospital operated by LSU, suffered a subdural hematoma—bleeding between the brain and the skull that is treatable if given prompt attention. The hospital attempted to transfer the patient to LSU's referral facility in New Orleans, but the hospital, with shrunken capacity, already had seven patients in the emergency department awaiting ICU beds. The doctor called 17 other hospitals that day, including some with neurosurgeons, operating rooms, and ICU beds available. None accepted the patient. He died that evening. Unfortunately, examples like these are becoming easier to identify in Louisiana.