A message from Rep. Cedric B. Glover of Shreveport:
Despite the challenge of the looming fiscal cliff, there is still something special going on during the current regular Legislative Session in Baton Rouge, especially for north Louisiana.
For the first time ever, the Shreveport and Monroe teaching safety net hospitals have a chance to bring transparency, fairness and parity to a funding process that has in the past years delivered more than $130 million more to the teaching and safety net hospital in New Orleans, despite the facility treating fewer patients than Shreveport and Monroe.
House Bill 885, the Safety Net Hospital Preservation Act, is bringing north Louisiana legislators together across party, demographic and geographic boundaries.
Conservative firebrand Rep. Alan Seabaugh said recently in a media interview about the Bill, “I don’t say this very often, but I agree with Cedric Glover on this one. It’s an idea that’s been a long time coming and probably should have been done a long time ago.” He added that “the State of Louisiana fully funds and treats…the hospital and medical school in New Orleans considerably better than they do the one in Shreveport. What (Glover) is trying to do is come up with some objective formula…to have a funding mechanism that actually relates to the number of patients that they treat.”
Despite the growing north Louisiana consensus, two institutions that should be cheering this move are reported to be working against it. Indications are that both LSU and Willis-Knighton are lobbying legislators around the state to vote against this Bill, which could deliver tens of millions more dollars for healthcare to Shreveport, Monroe and the LSU Shreveport Medical School.
No other region of the state would ever have this problem. Despite their local differences, New Orleans and Baton Rouge legislators and their institutions stand together in lockstep solidarity when it comes to fighting for resources.
What can you do to ensure north Louisiana’s teaching safety net hospitals and associated medical school are funded equitably?
Contact your legislators and ask them to vote for House Bill 885. Follow the link below to identify your representative and to find his or her contact information.
Cedric B. Glover, District 4 State Representative
About House Bill 885:
State Rep. Cedric B. Glover will present House Bill 885 to the House of Representatives Tuesday, May 15, after the reading and debate were delayed last week.
Bi-partisan and statewide support is growing behind House Bill 885.
Rep. Glover met with leaders of the Rural Hospital Coalition to updated the Bill’s language to ensure that any funding allocation associated with the Bill will not impact state supplemental funding provided to the rural hospitals.
Republican Sen. Barrow Peacock, District 37 of Shreveport-Bossier, has signed as co-author of the Bill. The Bill is backed by the Committee of One Hundred of Northwest Louisiana.
House Bill 885 is designed to investigate a potential disparity in state supplemental funding between our state’s two primary teaching safety net health systems – University Health System (UHS) in Shreveport and Monroe, and University Medical Center (UMC) in New Orleans, and to correct the disparity if it exists.
The Bill also promotes transparency in how the state funds safety net healthcare and graduate medical education.
- HB 885 first determines if there is a disparity in funding between state supplemental funds in the form of Upper Payment Limit (UPL), Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) and Full Medicaid Payment (FMP) being provided to UMC and UHS. The Bill does this by looking at how much state supplemental funding is provided per a commonly reported metric called “adjusted occupied bed.” This will provide an “apples to apples” comparison.
- Then, if a disparity in state supplemental funding is found between the two health systems, the Bill calls for the disparity to be corrected.
- Finally, the Bill provides a mechanism to bring parity to the funding levels at each health system by using UPL funds to make up any difference that remains after other state supplemental funding is brought up to allowable limits.
Why you should support House Bill 885:
According to data from the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH), UMC in state fiscal year 2017-18 received as much as $136 million more than UHS in supplemental funding which comes from the state in the form of UPL, DSH and FMP funds. Data also indicate UHS sees about twice as many patients as UMC.
Data show that UMC has received more than half a billion more dollars in state supplemental funding than UHS in the past five years since privatization.
For the past three years, UHS has received zero UPL funds while UMC has received about $43 million in these revenues.
We thank Rep. Glover for introducing this legislation, and fully support House Bill 885 and parity in funding for North Louisiana.
Click here to enter your address and contact your representatives to ask for their support for House Bill 885 and a budget bill which fully funds our safety net hospitals.
Thank you for supporting University Health System and safety net healthcare for our citizens.