Jefferson Health to eliminate 400 hospital beds by 2022

Philadelphia-based Jefferson Health, a 14-hospital network, plans to eliminate more than 400 of its staffed hospital beds in the next two to four years as part of a realignment strategy, a health system spokesperson confirmed to Becker's Hospital Review.

The health system's preliminary bond offering statement, which was published the week of April 9, outlined the bed-count changes. Altogether, Jefferson has 2,509 staffed beds and expects to eliminate about 16 percent of the beds to fewer than 2,100.

"All across the country we're seeing a decline in inpatient beds due largely to technology and other advancements that are reducing the need for overnight stays," John Brand, Jefferson Health's vice president of media relations, told Becker's. "For example, there was a time when a cardiac catheterization procedure resulted in an overnight stay and now they're largely done on an outpatient basis. Inpatient beds are declining all across the country, including Philadelphia."

It is unclear how many employees will be affected by this realignment strategy.  In reference to job reductions, however, a spokesperson told Becker's, "We believe the investments in innovation we are making today could very well mean even more jobs in the region in the future, despite the reduction in inpatient beds."

The bond offering statement, which seeks to raise $485 million, also outlines the proposed structure of Jefferson Health as it works to expand, according to The Inquirer. Jefferson Health plans to support a single academic medical center comprising Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and Jefferson Hospital of Neuroscience, both based in Philadelphia. The bond issue did not include details on the nonbinding letter of intent for Jefferson Health to merge with Philadelphia-based Einstein Healthcare Network.

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