MD Anderson to cut about 1,000 jobs

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston plans to eliminate about 1,000 jobs, or 5 percent of its 20,000-person workforce, as it tries to improve its financial health.

At a press conference Thursday, MD Anderson officials said between 800 and 900 workers will be laid off, and an additional 100 to 200 jobs will be cut through retirement and attrition, according to the Houston Business Journal. The job cuts will not affect any physicians.

"We primarily focused on those areas where we could make staff reductions, re-engineer administrative support, and not impact quality of patient care," officials said at the press conference, according to the report.

The job cuts are expected to save MD Anderson about $120 million a year.

MD Anderson is scaling back its workforce after it reported a combined $102 million operating loss in September and October and a $9 million operating loss in November. At the press conference Thursday, MD Anderson CFO Dan Fontaine said the organization likely does not have a positive operating margin for December, according to the report.

MD Anderson's financial troubles began in early 2016 when it rolled out a new Epic EHR system. The organization recorded a 76.9 percent drop in adjusted income for the 10 months that ended June 30, 2016, a downfall officials largely attributed to its EHR implementation project.

Despite its sagging financials, MD Anderson officials said Thursday the organization's long-term financial health remains strong.

"We are innovating to develop novel care delivery models, adopting enabling technologies and diversifying revenue streams," said MD Anderson in an emailed statement. "MD Anderson will be here for patients and their families today, tomorrow and long into the future."

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