Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco has proposed a $20 million-plus relief package for the state's public hospital system to reopen emergency room beds at Earl K. Long Medical Center in Baton Rouge and prevent the closure of two public hospitals. The Associate Press reported that Commissioner of Administration Jerry LeBlanc said the appropriation, which may require legislative approval, will "stabilize" the state charity system. Blanco will convene a healthcare policy summit March 3 and 4, where the future of the state's charity system will be discussed. The LSU Health Care Services Division, which operates eight of the state's 10 charity hospitals, recently cut spending by $66.5 million. -- by Mary Chris Jaklevic
$20 million aid planned for La. public hospitals
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