POSTED: Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - 5:45pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - 5:49pm
INDEPENDENCE, LA — Lallie Kemp Regional Medical Center, in Independence, La., has begun notifying patients of the closure of its Ophthalmology Clinic and Podiatry Clinic and the possible closure of oncology services at the hospital.
The hospital is sending letters to approximately 600 patients receiving treatment at the outpatient Oncology Clinic and chemo infusion center. “We are working with our patients to find them a new cancer treatment home,” said Sherre Pack-Hoofkin, hospital administrator. She says while hospital leadership is working on several scenarios that could possibly keep the program open, there are no guarantees. “While the closure date has not been determined, we believe it’s in our patients’ best interests to begin the process of transferring their care to another provider to ensure seamless care.”
The hospital is also sending letters to patients of the podiatry and ophthalmology clinics informing them that both clinics will close on Friday, September 28, 2012. Last year, the Podiatry Clinic had 1,224 patient visits, the Ophthalmology Clinic, 2,124 patient visits.
The closures are in response to a recent reduction in the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) rate Louisiana receives from the federal government. LSU’s systemwide share of the reductions amounts to more than $329 million when federal funds are considered. Lallie Kemp Regional Medical Center and nine other hospitals in the LSU Health system are working through multiple scenarios to identify ways to further reduce spending for this fiscal year while maintaining critical patient services and graduate medical education programs.
“We are working with the leadership at LSU Health to explore all options to best serve our patients, including partnerships with local private entities and enhanced collaboration with our sister LSU facilities,” said Hoofkin.
Lallie Kemp administration hopes to maintain the most critical clinical services, especially outpatient medical homes providing primary care and coordination of specialty care, as well as some inpatient beds, with the goal of keeping the hospital open and continuing graduate medical education programs. The hospital has about eight residents in ophthalmology and family medicine.
For questions or assistance, patients can call Karen Applewhite, RN, LKRMC director of nursing, 985-878-1255. Oncology patients can also call Lisa Melder, RN, 985-878-1340.