When Baton Rouge General Medical Center closed the emergency room at its Mid City campus in March 2015, the hospital’s board of directors said the move, though unpopular, was necessary to stop the bleeding at a facility that was losing $2 million a month.
More than 3 1/2 years later, the Mid City campus is continuing to operate in the red, and its 20,000-square-foot former emergency room remains vacant.
But there have been numerous positive changes on the campus, as BRG’s administration has quietly worked to repurpose underutilized space and attract new tenants that will not only build synergistic relationships within the hospital but will also generate revenues to help keep the lights on. The 70,000-square-foot medical office building adjacent to the hospital has attracted new group practices and is 95% leased, a new renovated reference lab on the hospital’s ground floor is providing services to a variety of third-party clients, the William Carey School of Nursing opened a baccalaureate nursing program in 2016 and a residential psychiatric program will open early next year on formerly vacant space on the fourth floor.
The financial situation could improve still further if the hospital is able to land a contract with the Bridge Center, which is considering leasing 18,000 square feet of the vacant emergency room to serve as the site for city’s new behavior health crisis stabilization center, which is funded by a dedicated tax. Read the full feature about the rebound at BRG’s Mid City campus from the Dec. 3 edition of Business Report.