Baton Rouge, La. - Today, the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals
(DHH), along with leaders from Baton Rouge General Medical Center (BRG),
the Baton Rouge Area Foundation (BRAF) and Our Lady of the Lake Medical
Center (OLOL), announced plans to collaborate on a new model of health
care for Mid City Baton Rouge. The plans will include the expansion of
the LSU Health Baton Rouge urgent care clinic on N. Foster Drive and the
creation of a temporary clinic location to support the needs of the community
at some point following the closure of BRG's Mid City emergency room
(ER) and clinical redesign of services. Collaborators agreed to conduct
a study of the long-term potential for the campus as a viable healthcare
asset in the Mid City Baton Rouge community.
Over the next several months, the BRG and BRAF will collaborate on a study
of the long-term sustainability of the campus. At the same time, the State
and OLOL will evaluate the need and scope of a permanent new urgent care
facility near the BRG Mid City campus. The State has committed to supporting
the construction with Capital Outlay funds, starting with a study of the
available facilities near the Mid City campus that would be available
for conversion to a permanent site.
DHH will also work closely with the BRG, BRAF, OLOL and community partners
to conduct the necessary community education and outreach surrounding
"We are pleased to be part of this collaborative effort between the
Baton Rouge General, Baton Rouge Area Foundation and other community partners
to maintain services in the Mid City area while planning for the long-term
sustainability of this health care facility," said DHH Secretary
Kathy H. Kliebert. "Health care options must evolve to match the
needs of the community and we believe that the changes announced today
are part of that evolution."
"We've left no stone unturned as we've sought solutions that
would allow us to keep the Mid City ER open," said Baton Rouge General
President and CEO Mark Slyter. "Though we are closing the Mid City
ER doors, the care and commitment to our Mid City community remains strong.
We look forward to continuing to work with the State as well as community
providers to utilize our Mid City campus in a manner that preserves our
vital community asset."
"We are currently working with the Baton Rouge General and Our Lady
of the Lake on the Baton Rouge Health District project," said John
Spain, executive vice president of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation. "We
will continue to work with these partners and other community stakeholders
to resolve the challenges of providing health care services to the Mid
As part of the transition plans, Baton Rouge General expressed support
for the collaborative plans late yesterday, following their Board's
decision to close emergency room operations in Mid City in the next 60
days. The State provided additional funding to BRG as reimbursement for
the care provided to the uninsured in the summer of 2014, which allowed
additional time for the BRG and community members to ability to craft
this long-term plan. In that time, the Mid City ER continued to experience
high volumes of uninsured patients and unsustainable levels of financial losses.
Thoughtful internal planning and community meetings regarding the realignment
of services at the hospital-and its impact on staff-will take place throughout
the coming months. BRG will also focus its efforts on communications with
patients and their families, staff, physicians, volunteers, neighbors
and friends of the hospital about transition plans, including education
about appropriate utilization of and access to care.
BRG has committed to work with BRAF and other partners to identify an industry
consultant to study the long-term potential of the campus for preserving
this vital community asset.
The LSU public-private partnerships serve as the primary access point
for care for uninsured residents in Louisiana. The new model of care is
comprised of the full complement of healthcare services including primary,
specialty and surgery services.
In April 2013, the initial LSU Health Baton Rouge Urgent Care Center opened
at the North Baton Rouge facility on Airline Highway. Today, that facility
sees an average of 120 patients per day. In December 2014, an additional
Urgent Care Center was opened in Mid City on North Foster Drive, roughly
1.5 miles from the Baton Rouge General Mid City campus, adding capacity
for walk-in patient care.
"Alternatives to the ER for non-emergent healthcare are the right
solutions to help address this challenge in communities everywhere. Since
opening more than two years ago, the LSU Health Baton Rouge Urgent Care
Center has cared for thousands of Baton Rouge residents with and without
insurance, and our recent expansion on Foster Drive is gaining patients
as well," said Our Lady of the Lake CEO Scott Wester. "These
clinics allow us to see patients quickly as well as link individuals to
primary care if they do not have those established relationships. We will
do everything we can to ensure people have access to the best health care."
The LSU Health Baton Rouge clinics operated by Our Lady of Lake have resulted
in shorter wait times and more services available for uninsured residents.