THE FUTURE IS NOW
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS for the December 5, 2020
Lane Regional Medical Center Funding Initiative
To sustain and further expand the hospital’s capabilities, the Board is seeking citizen support for a 20-mill property tax for COVID-19 related capital improvements and ongoing operations.
How does Lane support local healthcare?
For 60 years, Lane has been an essential healthcare provider for the northern part of East Baton Rouge Parish, especially during the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Having a 139-bed hospital that provides easy access to care and lifesaving services within minutes is critical to the region, especially if you or your family is the one who falls off a ladder, goes into premature labor, or has an asthma attack, heart attack, or stroke.
In fiscal year 2020, Lane provided the following medical care:
- 383,866 Laboratory Tests
- 66,543 PT/ST/OT Treatments
- 33,270 Outpatient Clinic Visits
- 25,264 Emergency Room Visits
- 23,236 Imaging Tests
- 18,881 Home Health Visits
- 9,344 Urgent Care Visits
- 7,2020 Hyperbaric/Wound Care Treatments
- 3,365 Inpatient Admissions
- 3,162 Cancer Chemo & Radiation Treatments
- 1,948 General Surgeries
- 1,830 Endoscopy Procedures
- 1,465 Heart Catheterization Procedures
- 358 Babies Delivered
- 271 Rehab Center Recoveries
- 147 Infusion Treatments
- 141 free health fairs, screenings, education classes, and support groups
Between March 15 – October 31, 2020:
- 6,534 patients were tested for COVID-19
- 320 patients were admitted for COVID-19 care
What does Lane bring to the community?
Lane is regional healthcare system that serves as the primary healthcare resource for more than 200,000 residents in its service area, including portions of East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, West Feliciana, and Livingston parishes.
Lane is the largest employer in Zachary with more than 800 healthcare professionals, 400 staff physicians and providers, and an annual payroll exceeding $30 million. The majority of Lane’s staff members live within the service area, own homes, and support local utilities, businesses, stores, restaurants, schools, and churches. Having local physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals who live, play, and raise their families near their work instills a sense of pride, satisfaction, and comradery.
Having a hospital in the community not only enhances property values, but it also helps stabilize the community overall.
Lane offers a full range of medical and surgical services, including inpatient and outpatient diagnostics, primary and specialized physicians, and numerous post-hospitalization therapies and services:
- Family/Internal Medicine
- General Surgery
- Home Health
- Intensive Care
- Labor & Delivery
- Medical Surgery
- Nursing Home
- Occupational Medicine
- Oncology-Medical & Radiation
- Sleep Medicine
- Social Services
- Support Groups & Classes
- Therapy Services-PT, ST, OT
- Urgent Care
- Wound Care
Why is the hospital seeking a millage for the first time in its 60-year history?
Since its inception in 1960, Lane has never received any funding from taxpayers.
As a result of the current COVID-19 pandemic, Lane’s expenses have been greater than its revenue. As a hospital service district, our revenue comes from charges for services to patients and from private and public insurance payments.
The current COVID-19 pandemic reduced these revenue streams by more than 40% overall while increasing expenses related to COVID-19 patient care.
COVID-19 required us to:
- Halt all elective and outpatient testing, procedures, surgeries, and physician office visits.
- Create separate areas for testing and treating both suspected/positive COVID patients and non-COVID related patients in the emergency room and outpatient clinics.
- Create 37 additional negative pressure rooms (for a total of 45) to accommodate both COVID-suspected and COVID-positive patients in the emergency room, intensive care, general nursing, labor & delivery, surgical, and recovery units.
- Create separate operating rooms for COVID-positive/suspected patients to prevent possible cross contamination.
- Develop processes to triple our ventilator capacity.
- Increase the number of nurses needed to care for fewer patients, both COVID-positive and COVID- suspected patients.
- Purchase large quantities of personal protection equipment, medication, and other COVID-related safety supplies in order to keep our patients and staff safe.
- Create screening stations to check staff, patients, and visitors for COVID-related symptoms.
Didn’t Lane qualify for assistance from the federal government or the state?
Lane received payments of about a month’s worth of expenses from the federal government. While significant, this amount is not enough to cover the clinical and financial risks associated with COVID-19. We continue to pursue state and federal resources, but we do not anticipate additional support.
What will be the cost to property owners for this millage?
(with $75,000 homestead exemption)
- $175,000 residence: < $17 per month
- $75,000 residence: $0 per month
- Renters: $0 per month
What will this millage provide to the hospital’s operations?
It is estimated that the proposed millage will generate $5.4 million annually over a 10-year period.
How will this millage support Lane?
These funds will prepare and sustain the hospital during public health emergencies, including future pandemics by:
- Lowering patient-to-nurse ratios for COVID-19 isolation patients
- Recruiting and training additional staff to care for COVID-19 patients
- Recruiting physicians and specialist to ensure access to care even during a pandemic
- Stocking emergency levels of crisis-related personal protection equipment, medications, linens, and safety supplies
- Adding technology for online scheduling, the patient portal, and telemedicine
- Replacing semi-private rooms with private rooms for optimal safety
- Establishing permanent isolation rooms for COVID-19 patients
- Creating private cubicles for patient registration to ensure social distancing
- Redesigning the footprint of outpatient areas to maximize social distancing
- Replacing reusable items with disposable ones in adherence with federal safety protocols
Who will vote on the millage?
Registered voters who live within Hospital Service District No. 1 of East Baton Rouge Parish are eligible to vote on the millage, including some portions of Baker, Greenwell Springs, Pride, Scotlandville, Slaughter, and Zachary. (See Map)
What happens if the millage fails?
Lane is doing everything possible to protect jobs by flexing/reducing hours, combining positions, and re-negotiating contracts. Our goal is to maintain the current level of healthcare without eliminating service lines, areas of care, or jobs.
However, if there is a massive resurgence of COVID-19 or a similar crisis pandemic, the future of Lane would be uncertain.
This millage enhances Lane’s ability to provide quality healthcare close to home with the professional and caring staff that has served this community for generations. The residents of our service district deserve easy access to care and a hospital that is well equipped to withstand future pandemics while providing exceptional healthcare to every patient, every time.