Hospital district eases deadline for LifePoint's answer

Staff Report
St. Mary Hospital Service District No. 2 has postponed the deadline it had set to make sure LifePoint Health continues to run Teche Regional Medical Center until new management is ready to go.
LifePoint, which operates Teche Regional under a lease, says it wants to give up its Louisiana operations. The Nashville-based company and the district had announced a preliminary agreement in which LifePoint would leave Dec. 31.
But there were also assurances that the hospital would remain open and that service wouldn’t be interrupted. And at a special meeting Friday, the board gave LifePoint until Nov. 9 to agree to stay in place until a replacement is found.
Otherwise, the board would go to court to have LifePoint enjoined from giving up management of the hospital.
Then, at the district board’s regular meeting Wednesday, the board voted to postpone the deadline — a possible sign that LifePoint and the district have come to some understanding.
Board members say they’re negotiating with Ochsner Health System of Jefferson Parish about taking over management of Teche Regional.
“All the parties are working pretty well together …,” said Chairman Heath Hoffpauir at Wednesday’s meeting. “The hospital will not close.”

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