The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals announced today that Meridian Behavioral Health was chosen as the provider with whom discussions will continue for operating psychiatric beds on the campus of Southeast Louisiana Hospital in Mandeville. This is the first step in having a private third party health provider assume operation. In conjunction with St. Tammany Parish Government, DHH is working to put together the details of cooperative endeavor agreements with Meridian with the ultimate goal of keeping psychiatric beds in place on the SELH campus.
As part of the negotiations, the State could enter into an agreement that allows St. Tammany Parish the use of the property and facilities. Simultaneously, the Parish would also enter into an agreement with Meridian for their use of the hospital, as well as any other organizations interested in relocating to the property. The success of this dialogue would enable the current outpatient services currently provided on SELH campus the opportunity to remain without disruption in program offerings.
"Our goal is to have a signed agreement in place in two weeks," said DHH Deputy Secretary Kathy Kliebert. "A lot of hard work has gone into continuing services at Southeast Louisiana Hospital, without increasing the burden to the taxpayers of Louisiana during tight budget constraints."
"We have put in place working groups to address and work through the details that will allow the State, St. Tammany Parish and Meridian Behavioral Health to work towards signing an agreement to continue the psychiatric services our area desperately needs," said St. Tammany Parish President Pat Brister.
“Parish President Pat Brister and I have been aggressively pursuing a solution to the problem created by the state’s sudden budget cuts. This proposed agreement meets the needs of all who are involved. Taxpayers shoulder less burden, while services continue for those who need the benefits of this facility. This agreement also protects jobs in St. Tammany Parish,” noted State Senator Jack Donahue.