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Ochsner LSU Health touts economic impact in Monroe



MONROE, La. – Ochsner LSU Health released a report last week touting its contributions to the state, including Monroe where its capital spending rose to some $15.2 million in the current fiscal year.

Ochsner LSU Health was formed in October 2018 when Ochsner Health and LSU Health Shreveport partnered to manage two former charity hospitals, a network of clinics and health centers and a physicians group, all in North Louisiana.

Ochsner LSU Health commissioned the study to assess the economic impact this partnership has had on the regional economy, specifically in Caddo and Ouachita Parishes, as well as the overall state economy.

The study was conducted by economist Dr. Loren Scott of Loren C. Scott and Associates.

At Ochsner LSU Health in Monroe, full-time direct employment is up 10.5 percent, and capital spending increased from $410,000 in 2018 to $15.2 million in fiscal year 2021. Operational spending is up 12.4 percent, or $14.8 million.

In Ouachita Parish, Ochsner LSU Health includes the former E.A. Conway Hospital, with 244 beds, and 13 clinics on the Monroe Medical Center campus and plans to add clinics in the community.

“The small amount spent on the hospital prior to the takeover — $410,000 — had a negligible impact on the parish economy,” the report said.

“Only about four jobs could be tied back to this spending. These impacts have grown since the partnership assumed responsibility for the hospital.”

Business sales impacts are up $48.5 million in Ouachita Parish.

Earnings are up $18.1 million, and local taxes increased by one-half of a million dollars since the partnership was formed.

The partnership created more than 300 additional jobs, with a multiplier factor of 2.3 and an average annual wage 38 percent higher than the parish average.

“It should be pointed out that the Ochsner LSU Health Monroe Medical Center was one of the few entities in either parish that grew over 2018-2021,” the report states.

“As a result of the extra effort to serve this underserved market, the partnership’s Medicaid patient count has increased significantly in just the first two years after the transition,” Scott said in the report. “[T]here has been a rather remarkable 21 percent increase in service to the Medicaid population since the transition to the partnership.”

“Importantly, expensive emergency room visits by Medicaid patients are down 25% since the transition. This is because more clinics are now available to this population, so they can take this less expensive way to receive care,” he continued.

On the state level, Ochsner LSU Health has added $151.4 million more in business sales and generated $57.4 million in additional household earnings for Louisiana residents. It has also created jobs across the state and generated an additional $9.1 million to the state treasury, the report said.

“Clearly, the formation of this partnership has been a big win for the state,” writes Scott in describing the impact.