Public-private partnerships will take over operations in 2013 at three Louisiana State University hospitals and another one under construction, according to tentative agreements announced Dec. 10 by the Department of Health and Hospitals.

The private partners have pledged advance lease payments of approximately $30 million, which will help cover a healthcare revenue shortfall in fiscal 2013.

Gov. Bobby Jindal ordered spending cuts by the public hospital system operated by LSU in June due to a reduction in federal health care funding.

The $126 million in state budget cuts resulted in a total reduction of $330 million with the loss of matching funds for federal grants.

The private partners made initial non-refundable payments totaling $12.1 million to the LSU system.

The payments will allow the LSU hospitals in New Orleans, Lafayette, and Houma to avoid planned layoffs and maintain patient services until final agreements are signed, according to Bruce Greenstein, secretary of the state hospitals department.

"These partnerships keep core services intact and offer exciting opportunities to enhance both patient care and medical education," Greenstein said.

When completed, the final cooperative endeavor agreements must be approved by the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget. The state hopes to have the hospital agreements in place by May, Greenfield said, replacing the memorandums of understandings now in effect.

The LSU Board of Supervisors will meet Friday to discuss the hospital agreements.

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