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BRG Mid-City Emergency Room closing within two months

1 year 8 months 2 weeks ago February 03, 2015 Feb 3, 2015 Tuesday, February 03 2015 February 03, 2015 5:17 PM in News
Source: WBRZ
By: Hunter Robinson, Alexa Vogue

BATON ROUGE - Emergency care is on life support as a hospital plans to cut off their primary service.

Baton Rouge General Mid-City will be shuttering the doors of its emergency room within the next 60 days, according to a press release.

It's the second go around for employees to get notice of a closure. Last August, Baton Rouge General said the ER would need to be shut down by November, but the state stepped in to keep it open with $18 million.

When announcements of a possible closure first surfaced in August of last year, hospital officials said they were losing a million dollars a month dealing with an influx of uninsured patients, which happened after state budget cuts caused Earl K. Long hospital to close.

That's when the hospital reached a deal with the Department of Health and Hospitals to offset some of the losses and keep it open.

Plans are currently in the works to open temporary clinic locations in mid-city and expand the LSU Urgent Care Clinic to meet community needs.

The Department of Health and Hospitals will work with Baton Rouge General and Our Lady of the Lake to find a permanent solution.

"Baton Rouge General has been looking at other options for a few months now," said Department of Health and Hospitals secretary Kathy Kliebert. "[They] are committed to doing a study to look at all their services and decide what really needs to occur on that campus."

Baton Rouge General will also work with the Baton Rouge Area Foundation to look at possible options for the campus in the future. Kliebert said the reason DHH did not step in to provide financial aid again, is their confidence in other area clinics.

"I feel like with the urgent care clinics that we have available and with Our Lady of the Lake's commitment to expand and look at another location in the area that we'll be able to handle that population," Kliebert said.

But not everyone feels expanding area clinics will provide adequate health care. State Representative Pat Smith describes the closure as a huge burden and says it's only a matter of time before the entire hospital shuts down.

"Where are people going to go once the hospital closes?" asked Representative Smith. "This is quite a catastrophe for people not only in the city area but in the entire parish."

Baton Rouge General said in a statement they look forward to working to utilize the campus in a manner that preserves their community asset.





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