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LSUHSC-S to trim more than $2 million from budgets

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By Melody Brumble

LSU Health Sciences Center-Shreveport will try to whittle its prescription drug costs by nearly 15 percent to meet mid-year budget cuts required by Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.

LSU system supervisors will vote on that proposal and other cuts during a special meeting Saturday in Baton Rouge. The system must make $21.2 million in cuts among its institutions to comply with the governor’s executive order issued last week.

Including the mid-year cuts, the system has trimmed more than $160 million from its universities and hospitals since July 1, 2008, said Charles Zewe, system spokesman.

LSUHSC-S will work with its doctors and pharmacists to find generic drugs for patients in the hospital, with an estimated savings of $1.7 million, to make the cut in its health care funding. The Shreveport hospital spends about $12 million a year on inpatient prescription drugs.

“We are going to use medications that are proven effective, but they may not be the newest, most expensive drugs,” said Elaine King, LSUHSC-S spokeswoman.

The Shreveport health sciences center also must cut academic funding for its medical school. Administrators will put off filling nine faculty positions to save slightly more than $900,000 and will pay for faculty and staff travel to professional conferences without using state funds for a savings of about $300,000, King said.

Administrators at E.A. Conway Medical Center in Monroe have proposed giving employees compensatory time — time off — instead of paying overtime, with an estimated savings of $1 million.

The hospital also plans to close two of its 16 intensive care unit beds, for a savings of about $364,000.

It also will transfer computer programming jobs from its budget to another state-funded project to save $300,000.

Huey P. Long Medical Center in Pineville plans to discontinue labor and delivery services for the rest of the budget year, based on declining use of the labor and delivery unit.

There were 96 births between July 1, 2009, and June 30 compared to 147 in the 2008-09 budget year and 153 in the 2007-08 budget year, King said.

She said other hospitals offer childbirth services in the Alexandria-Pineville area.

“Everything we’ve done has been after asking, ‘What can we do that will have the least impact on our core mission,” King said.

“We’re cutting around the edges to the extent we can.”


Written by demon53

November 4, 2010 at 12:08 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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