NEWORLEANS- Several sources confirmed to Eyewitness News that a local organization has been in negotiations with the state, to get the contract to run both University Hospital and the new teaching hospital when it opens.
The Louisiana Children's Medical Center, the non-profit parent corporation that runs both Children's Hospital and Touro, uptown, has been in negotiations to run the local charity hospitals. One is the Interim LSU Public Hospital, better known as University, and the other is the new University Medical Center (UMC) also known as the new teaching hospital. It is currently under construction. It will take University's place when it opens.
You may remember back in 2009 when Touro was having financial difficulties after Charity Hospital closed from Hurricane Katrina damage, the Louisiana Children's Medical Center took it over. A spokesperson says that Touro is now financially ahead of schedule to meet its five year goal to put it in a positive cash flow situation.
Details are still being worked out for this complex public-private partnership. But questions remain. Since the new billion dollar hospital is public, can its board make this deal without putting it out to a public bidding process? Would the contract for the Louisiana Children's Medical Center have to be approved by the legislature. And how will this fit into the charge that the new hospital's purpose is to support LSU and the training of future doctors and health care professionals.
We contacted LSU to answer those questions but have not heard back.