Health system CEO pulls out $6M check to pay debts during budget hearing

Daniel Snyder, CEO of Shreveport, La.-based University Health System, stunned senators Friday when he brought a check for $6.2 million to a budget hearing to pay debts owed to Baton Rouge-based Louisiana State University.

Biomedical Research Foundation of Northwest Louisiana in Shreveport operates University Health System's hospitals in Shreveport and Monroe, La. Under a state contract, LSU physicians and students provide services at the two hospitals and University Health System is required to pay LSU for those services. However, the system has fallen behind on its payments.

During the budget hearing Friday, LSU Health Sciences Center Shreveport Chancellor G.E. Ghali, DDS, MD, told senators University Health System owes $12 million for services provided by LSU physicians.

When senators questioned Mr. Snyder about the debt, he said the bills had not been paid because the invoices sent by LSU didn't have sufficient supporting documentation, including details regarding the physician services provided.

After additional questioning regarding the unpaid debts, Mr. Snyder surprised senators when he pulled out a check for $6.2 million from his coat pocket to present to Dr. Ghali.

Finance Chairman Sen. Eric LaFleur said he had never seen anything like this occur during a budget hearing. "If this is how you conduct business, the future doesn't seem to be too bright," he told Mr. Snyder during the hearing.

Dr. Ghali said he would work to get Mr. Snyder additional documentation, but he noted the additional details are not required under the contract between the parties.

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