Nationwide Search for Outside Adviser for Hospital Deal

East Jefferson General Hospital (EJGH), owned by Parish Council, has seen its share of troubles. Bond-rating agencies have given the hospital a credit rating of “highly speculative.” Hospital executives report that they currently remain up-to-date on all debts and other payments but has spent more than $50 million in cash reserves in the last 4 years. All parties have finally come to the realization that an outside operator is much needed.

LCMC Health is a non-profit hospital system which runs Children’s Hospital, Touro, University Medical Center New Orleans, New Orleans East Hospital, West Jefferson Medical Center and New Orleans area urgent care centers. The New Orleans-based non-profit’s mission is “to provide the best possible care for every person and parish in Louisiana and beyond, and to put a little more heart and soul into healthcare along the way.” Currently EJGH is in the works with LCMC to lease or purchase the East Jefferson hospital.

The Parish Council is in the stages of seeking a firm to advise them on the potential deal with LCMC Health which have been in talks for several months under the radar. The firm sought will provide a “fairness opinion” on the deal in question. The “fairness opinion” basically means the firm will asses whether the merger or acquisition deal is fair for both EJGH and LCMC. A lease and a purchase are both choices on the table.

They will be conducting a nationwide search for such a firm. Parish Council wants to find it fast because they only have two weeks from the time the search is advertised to submit a final decision of the firm they will work hire. The submission will be graded by the company’s experience, timeliness and their fee schedule.

A purchase of the hospital would require approval by voters that live on the east bank of Jefferson Parish which might complicate things just a bit more than a lease. The 420-bed hospital is located in the Metairie district under Councilwoman Jennifer Van Vrancken. She believes that the vote happening August 21, 2019 will help solidify the best deal for EJGH.

“How do we make sure the deal is good for us?” Van Vrancken asked. “That’s what we will secure a firm to review.”

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