Sunday, June 9, 2013

Is This The Future Of Jefferson Parish Healthcare? Layoffs Begin As Children’s Takes Over LSU/New Orleans

Despite assuring all employees of the LSU Interim Hospital and Clinics in New Orleans that reapplying for their jobs was a formality and having those same employees sit in on benefit meetings to discuss their new insurance and retirement benefits after they migrated from being state employees to become employees of the Children’s Hospital Foundation, Children’s has issued pink slips to over 100 employees and issued significant pay cuts to many department heads.

The exact number of those impacted is not known and was not disclosed.

Job offers from Children’s were extended last week to LSU employees and many were shocked to discover that they would be out of work as of 6/24, when Children’s is scheduled to take over the operations from the state, while many other received pay cuts.
“Why did they waste our time in meetings about benefits,” one employee who did not want to be identified said. “I could have started looking for work a month ago. Now, I have two weeks to work and then no income.”

A Department Head, who also asked to not be identified, confirmed the pay cuts.
The State is privatizing several hospitals, among them the LSU Interim Hospital and Clinics in New Orleans.

Recently, Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand, the Chairman of the East Jefferson General Hospital board, asked State legislators to remove the requirement for a voter referendum to lease both EJ and West Jefferson Medical Center.
Children’s, Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) and Ocshner are the three candidates in the running to pick up the leases. If approved, the move would give Ochsner a virtual monopoly on healthcare in Jefferson Parish. HCA operates hospitals across the country including Tulane/Lakeside, Lakeview Regional in Covington and Rapides Regional in Alexandria.

The Jefferson Parish Council which previously approved Normand’s request to remove voters from the process, is expected to take up the hospital leases in July.