Week in Review, Oct. 10-14: Healthcare Consolidation, Insurance Rate Increase and More

NEW ORLEANS – On Oct. 10, LCMC Health and Tulane University announced major partnership plans.

If the proposed $150 million deal is approved by the state Attorney General’s Office, Tulane Medical Center, Lakeview Regional Medical Center and Tulane Lakeside Hospital will be acquired from HCA Healthcare, a national for-profit operator of health care facilities, and will join the other six hospitals in the nonprofit LCMC Health system. An LCMC spokesperson said employees at the three hospitals will keep their jobs. 

The deal will significantly increase LCMC’s footprint and essentially reduce the number of major health care operators in greater New Orleans to two: LCMC and Ochsner Health System. 

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“LCMC Health and Tulane University have shared values and a vision to partner to bring the best of community healthcare and academic medicine to all those we serve,” said LCMC Health CEO Greg Feirn in a press release announcing the potential deal. “With this transformational partnership, we can build on our strong history of collaboration with our academic partners, Tulane University and Louisiana State University, to do more for our patients, communities and region together than would be possible as separate organizations.” 

Here are more of the week’s top business stories:

Insurance Rates Going Up

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Entergy’s Energy Smart Program Brings Cost Conscious Innovation to New Orleans

Offering comprehensive energy efficiency at no cost to the consumer, Entergy’s Energy Smart program incentivizes Entergy New Orleans customers to perform energy-saving upgrades in...

The Louisiana Department of Insurance said it has approved Louisiana Citizens’ request for a 63% rate increase on its residential property insurance policies beginning Jan. 1, 2023. The rate increase will not affect Citizens’ current policyholders until they renew their policy after that date. Citizens is the state’s insurer of last resort. Louisiana law requires Citizens’ rate for each of its policy types in each parish to be at least 10% over the highest qualifying market rate or 10% over the actuarial rate, whichever is higher. The LDI said the rate increase is almost totally a result of the increased cost of reinsurance for Citizens’ increased number of policies this hurricane season. “There’s no sugarcoating it: this increase is extremely painful but required by law to make sure Citizens can handle a potential future disaster for its many policyholders,” said Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon. 

John Deere Invests in South Louisiana

Deere & Company, the global corporation that manufactures the iconic John Deere brand of agricultural, construction and forestry equipment, is investing $29.8 million to expand operations at its Thibodaux facility. The company will create 70 new direct jobs with an average annual salary of $47,472, and will retain 311 existing jobs in Louisiana, including 284 jobs at the Lafourche Parish facility. Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project will result in 110 new indirect jobs, for a total of 180 new jobs in the Bayou Region. The announcement coincides with Louisiana’s observation of Manufacturing Week, the 11th annual nationwide celebration of the sector’s continued growth and the career opportunities it has to offer. (From Louisiana Economic Development)

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Companies Move Forward on Carbon Capture

Gov. John Bel Edwards and the executives of major global energy corporations CF Industries, ExxonMobil and EnLink Midstream announced an “unprecedented” decarbonization collaboration aimed at dramatically reducing industrial CO2 emissions in Louisiana. The announcement – described as a potential business prototype for industrial-scale carbon capture and sequestration projects – was made Wednesday at the State Capitol. The three companies have entered into the largest-of-its-kind commercial agreement to capture emissions from CF Industries’ Ascension Parish manufacturing complex, transport the CO2 through EnLink’s transportation network and permanently store it underground on property owned by ExxonMobil in Vermilion Parish. “Today’s announcement of this unprecedented, large-scale, low-carbon partnership is a key milepost on Louisiana’s path toward a brighter future for our climate, our economy and our people,” Gov. Edwards said. “The collaboration and innovation to bring carbon capture and storage technology forward at this scale reaffirms our state’s ability to grow our economy without sacrificing our long-term emission-reduction goals to net zero by 2050.” (From Louisiana Economic Development)

UNO Announces Capital Campaign

The University of New Orleans has announced the public phase of a $50 million comprehensive fundraising campaign, the first in the institution’s 64-year history. The campaign, which is called “Next is Now,” aims to create an unprecedented level of investment in the university’s people, programs and facilities. UNO has already raised more than $30 million toward its goal, with another $10 million in commitments. “We are calling the campaign Next is Now because we are boldly declaring our ambitions to bring the University of New Orleans to new heights, and we’re not waiting to do that; we are doing it now,” said President John Nicklow. “The value of a UNO degree is demonstrable and well-known throughout our city and our region. We are asking our alumni and supporters to help make that degree even more valuable by investing in the University and our students for generations to come.”

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