Lawmaker: New Louisiana hospitals deal could cost state more

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BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - A state lawmaker is raising concerns that a deal to transfer management of the state-owned safety-net hospitals in north Louisiana could cost the state an extra $40 million a year.

Erath Republican Rep. Blake Miguez, a House budget committee member, wrote Gov. John Bel Edwards seeking more information about the contract, which hasn't been completed.

Miguez said he's heard that Southeast Louisiana-based Ochsner Health System wants $291 million annually to take over day-to-day oversight of the Shreveport and Monroe facilities. Miguez said that's $40 million more than BRF has been paid to manage the hospitals.

Edwards' office wouldn't said Friday whether the deal is expected to cost more. Spokesman Richard Carbo said negotiations are ongoing and lawmakers will receive a "full public presentation" before the agreement is done.

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