Mar 19, 2014 12:51 PM by AP
LULING, La. (AP) - An audit finds publicly owned St. Charles Parish Hospital ended the past fiscal year with a cumulative debt of $12.1 million.
Hospital CEO Federico Martinez Jr. tells The New Orleans Advocate almost $5 million of the debt was related to a lump-sum pension payment that the St. Charles Parish Hospital Service District, which manages the nonprofit hospital, plans to pay off over a decade.
Martinez said he's optimistic the hospital will be able to turn around its finances in the near future.
Martinez said in an interview that the hospital is hoping to strengthen an existing relationship with Ochsner Health System, which provides primary and specialty care services at the Luling hospital.