Jindal touts LSU deals as urgent care clinic opens

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A new LSU urgent care clinic opened Tuesday in north Baton Rouge, managed by a local private hospital as part of Gov. Bobby Jindal’s efforts to outsource university system health facilities.

Jindal used the ribbon-cutting to highlight the privatization efforts, which he said have improved services for people who rely on the LSU network of hospitals and clinics for care.

“This partnership and the other partnerships around the state are truly transforming access to health care for Louisianians,” the governor said.

LSU’s hospital in Baton Rouge, Earl K. Long Medical Center, was shuttered in April. Most of its services were shifted to Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center. The new LSU urgent care clinic in the city also is run by Our Lady of the Lake.

The clinic replaces a temporary location and treats walk-in patients for non-emergency needs, like broken bones, minor injuries and flu-like symptoms. The facility is open around-the-clock and is designed to keep the uninsured from more expensive emergency room care.

Jindal said the urgent care clinic services weren’t available before the privatization agreement. He said Our Lady of the Lake also has expanded its emergency room and reached Level II trauma center status because of the partnership with LSU.

Besides the LSU hospital in Baton Rouge, the university-run hospital in Lake Charles has been closed with its services transferred to a local private hospital. Three other LSU hospitals were turned over to private entities, and four more outsourcing deals are in the works.

By January, only one LSU hospital will still be managed by the university system, in Tangipahoa Parish.

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