2 Alexandria hospitals to take over Huey P. Long

PINEVILLE, La. (AP) — A preliminary plan has been agreed on for two Alexandria hospitals to take over services currently provided by Huey P. Long Medical Center in Pineville.

Christus St. Frances Cabrini Hospital and Rapides Regional Medical Center have been in talks for months to take over the hospital’s services as part of the state’s push to privatize its LSU-run hospitals.

According to LSU Health Shreveport, which manages the Pineville facility, services will be fully transferred on July 1, 2014. Huey P. Long will continue to operate until the transfer.

Under the proposed model, The Town Talk reports (http://townta.lk/174EV9j) Cabrini will handle inpatient psychiatric care, while urgent care and other inpatient care will be shared by the two hospitals. Outpatient care will be provided by clinics throughout the community.

“We believe this is a good model that leverages community resources to restore and expand services in settings appropriate to the community and that will be better for patient care by increasing access points and specialty care options,” read a statement from LSU Health Shreveport.

The fate of HPL has been a source of uneasiness in the community. As talks between the hospitals and state health officials have gone on for several months, some worried HPL would be closed with no replacement care in place.

Tens of thousands of people in the region make use of HPL services, the large majority of them on Medicaid, Medicare or unable to pay for health care.

Previous talks had centered on moving HPL outpatient services to a former Air Force hospital building at England Airpark, but there was debate over how much funding would be required to make that work.

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Information from: Alexandria Daily Town Talk, http://www.thetowntalk.com

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