It has been almost a month since the Biomedical Research Foundation officially took over operations of the LSU hospitals in Shreveport and Monroe, but State Treasurer John Kennedy says this privatization effort is not to save money on operating costs.

Kennedy says it's designed to expand Medicaid in Louisiana to bring in more money from the federal government.

"The Biomedical Research Foundation will run the hospital and treat our Medicaid and uninsured patients," Kennedy explained to KEEL Morning News.  "We're going to give them federal money to do that.  They're going to take that federal money and give some of that money back as lease payments."

Although the privatization process has already begun, Kennedy points out an issue with the plan.

"The problem with that is that our new financial strategy has got to be approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in Washington," said Kennedy.  "The Feds have to sign off on it because they put up most of the money."

The state treasurer recognizes that something needs to be done to fix the health care system here in Louisiana.

"But, this privatization is not to save money in operations, it's to expand the Medicaid program by leveraging federal dollars," Kennedy told 710 KEEL.

Kennedy doesn't completely agree with the privatization process, especially with privatizing the hospital here in Shreveport.

"The public hospital in Shreveport is by far the best run in the state," said Kennedy.  "It's got deep community support, it's got broad patient mix.  Honestly, I don't know why we have to do anything with it."