METAIRIE -- East Jefferson General Hospital may soon have a private operator.

Multiple sources are telling Eyewitness News that the public parish hospital may be close to cutting a deal with Hospital Corporation of America to run the hospital.

Two years ago, HCA broke off negotiations with East Jefferson citing a lengthy two-year process that was going nowhere.
A deal is important because EJGH is having financial woes. In 2013, the hospital reportedly lost $15.1 million, and its bond rating was lowered to below investment grade. Changes in the national health care system are also forcing hospitals to consolidate so they can negotiate better rates on equipment and care.

HCA currently operates three Tulane hospitals: Tulane Medical Center in New Orleans, Tulane Lakeside Hospital for Women and Children in Metairie, and just recently Lakeview Regional Medical Center in Covington.

Sources said current East Jefferson physicians and staff would stay in place.

The timing of any potential deal at EJGH is unclear at this time. However,  East Jefferson has scheduled a special board meeting Wednesday evening.

The hospital board and the Jefferson Parish Council would have to approve any new partnership.

West Jefferson Medical Center now has LCMC Health as its private hospital manager.