In 2016, under newly elected Louisiana Governor, John Bel Edwards, Louisiana expanded upon Medicaid. This expansion led to Lafayette Community Health Care Clinic losing its patient population nearly overnight. With more of Louisianans insured, there was no longer a need for a free clinic—a good problem to have. “In order to qualify for services at LCHCC, one had to be without commercial insurance, Medicaid or Medicare. After 25 years of serving the working uninsured, the clinic shut its doors in September of 2016.”
After closing, the building was later donated to the Lafayette General Foundation with hopes that it would one day reopen to provide continued health care services for those in the Downtown, Freetown & Port Rico districts of Lafayette.
Today, the foundation at Lafayette General has raised more than half a million dollars toward a $1 million goal with construction & renovations scheduled to begin early 2020.
“On, November 7, 2016, the LCHCC board of directors donated the real estate and property assets to the Lafayette General Foundation. Since that time, the Foundation, along with the Lafayette General Health System, has been doing due diligence to determine the best use of the asset.”
“In the most recent Community Health Needs Assessment, the area where the clinic is located was identified as the area with the greatest need for primary care,” said Nick Gachassin, former president of the LCHCC board of directors. “This clinic will serve the Downtown, Port Rico and Freetown areas of town that have been sorely lacking healthcare resources.”
With the Medicaid expansion came an increased patient population at University Hospital & Clinics (UHC), one of the state’s safety-net hospitals. UHC primary care providers (PCP) are at capacity and it can take months for those on the waiting list to get an appointment with a PCP at UHC.
“The Lafayette General Healthcare Clinic will reopen with two to four clinicians, providing access to primary care to an additional 10,000 – 15,000 Acadiana residents,” said University Hospital & Clinics CEO Katie Hebert. “When it opens, the clinic will be well-appointed with the equipment of a modern-day health center.”
The Lafayette General Healthcare Clinic, located at 1317 Jefferson Street, is slated to reopen in the third quarter of 2020; serving both the Medicaid population as well as private insurance policyholders. The Clinic will be an off-campus extension of University Hospital & Clinics (UHC) primary care.