University hospitals in Baton Rouge and Lake Charles have been shuttered, with their services transferred to other private hospitals in the area. Management of three LSU hospitals around south Louisiana was turned over to entities that run other nearby private hospitals.
Similar arrangements will take effect at other LSU hospitals over the next few months, with the deals expected to be complete by mid-2104.
Opelka likened the transition to the start of a marriage, where both partners still were learning about each other.
He said while the records and accounting systems transfers need to be completed, the LSU medical schools and the new hospital managers also were trying to hammer out the final terms of academic training agreements.
Long-term, he said LSU wants to beef up its data collection and analysis in coordination with the hospital operators, using the wealth of information to help with student training and to improve hospital performance and patient outcomes.
"We couldn't focus on this before because we were focusing on mere survival," he said.