As temporary state revenue sources are set to expire on July 1, our lawmakers face some difficult decisions. Without legislative action, potential hospital cuts would jeopardize patient access, jobs and graduate medical education across the state of Louisiana.
If these cuts materialize, hospitals in some communities would have to substantially reduce services triggering thousands of employee layoffs. At a time when Louisiana is working to improve our state’s economy, these layoffs would be detrimental locally and have a negative economic ripple effect statewide.
Patients and citizens risk losing access to primary care physicians and specialists in communities throughout the state. Many would find themselves seeking care in hospital emergency rooms, adding additional stress and costs to an already overburdened system.
Because our medical education enterprises are financially and operationally tied to our teaching hospitals, these cuts would also substantially disrupt the education and training of physicians and other allied healthcare professionals, possibly forcing them to move out of state to complete their training.
As we contemplate the negative impact of these potential cuts on jobs and services, it is important for each of us to understand that these services are being provided today through a combination of state, federal and local entities; therefore, state budget cuts would eliminate matching funds that save state and local taxpayer dollars.
For these reasons, we ask that you urge our legislative leaders to work together to finalize a responsible budget that does not cut essential hospital services.