OLOL Livy ER represents a trend

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Our Lady of the Lake's decision to build what amounts to a hospital without beds in Livingston Parish represents a major expansion.

One CEO Scott Wester says was long overdue.  "After hurricane Katrina with that population expansion it was an ideal location for us to try this healthplex model or this free-standing emergency room model."

Last year, North Oaks hospital from Hammond also established a significant presence in Livingston Parish building a medical complex of it's own in Satsuma.  While the demand for new, large scale medical providers was there, experts say healthcare systems building mini-hospitals in suburban areas is a trend in many communities.

Wester says meeting the needs of an aging population one reason why. "Going into large, urban settings where there's traffic congestion, hard to get into hard to get out of sometimes is very unappealing to the patients that are senior in age."

Doctors say health care facilities that offer the kind of care once limited to full-size hospitals closer to where patients live is another way to make sure people who need advanced medical care get it.   According to OLOL Emergency Room doctor, James Rhorer, "Reaching out to provide a new level of service could offer incredible access for care."

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