- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 12, 2017

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - The Latest on a contract dispute between Gov. John Bel Edwards’ administration, LSU and the operator of safety-net hospitals in north Louisiana (all times local):

12:25 p.m.

The operator of two north Louisiana safety-net hospitals says it expects to resolve its contract disagreement with Gov. John Bel Edwards’ administration without being ousted.

The Edwards administration and LSU, which previously ran the Shreveport and Monroe hospitals, filed breach-of-contract notifications late Monday against BRF.

BRF leaders Tuesday called the move disappointing and said they are prepared to fight in court any attempt to remove the company as manager.

The hospital operator disagrees with LSU’s claims that it has failed to develop a sustainable business model that ensures the financial stability of both the hospitals and the university medical school that provides the doctors for the facilities.

BRF officials say the Edwards administration and LSU want the hospitals to prioritize paying the medical school ahead of the needs of patients.

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9:30 a.m.

Gov. John Bel Edwards’ administration says the private operator of state-owned, safety-net hospitals in north Louisiana is violating its contract.

The administration and LSU, which previously managed the hospitals in Shreveport and Monroe, have started a legal process that could lead to the ouster of BRF as hospital operator.

LSU and the governor’s chief budget adviser, Jay Dardenne, sent “notice of breach” letters late Monday to BRF, starting a 45-day period for BRF to correct problems outlined.

Among the complaints: Dardenne said Tuesday that patient care quality at the Shrevpeort hospital is poor and BRF is slow to pay bills, including to LSU doctors who work at the hospitals.

Stephen Skrivanos, representing the north Louisiana hospital manager, says it is negotiating with the state and “optimistic about a successful outcome.”

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