8 hospitals, health systems laying off workers

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Several U.S. hospitals have filed layoff notices recently. Some are trimming their workforces due to financial and operational challenges, and some are offering affected workers new positions.

Below are eight hospitals and health systems that have laid off employees or announced plans to since Nov. 1.

1. Galesburg (Ill.) Cottage Hospital closed Jan. 8, and its workers were informed via email that their employment had been terminated. The hospital did not disclose the number of employees affected. Galesburg Cottage Hospital CEO Sanjay Sharma, PhD, attributed the closure to CMS' decision to terminate the facility's Medicare contract. He called the closure temporary but didn't offer a timeline for the hospital's reopening. The hospital plans to appeal the CMS decision to terminate its Medicare contract, according to the Galesburg Register-Mail

2. Community Hospital Long Beach (Calif.) plans to lay off 328 employees early this year, according to a notice filed with state regulators. The hospital said the layoffs are set to begin after Jan. 31 and may come in stages. The layoffs are a result of Community Hospital Long Beach ending acute care and closing its emergency department. 

3. Watsonville (Calif.) Community Hospital is preparing to lay off 677 workers, according to a notice filed with the state Nov. 29. The hospital entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy Dec. 5 and announced a tentative sale agreement with the Pajaro Valley Healthcare District Project. If the sale to the nonprofit group or another buyer is finalized by Jan. 28, all Watsonville employees will be terminated. Watsonville CEO Steven Salyer said all potential buyers are being asked to offer employment to the hospital's workers. If the sale isn't finalized, the hospital will close after the bankruptcy court authorizes those steps, and all employees would be terminated Jan. 28, according to the notice to the state. Funds made available through the bankruptcy process may allow the hospital to delay the layoffs.

4. Pittsfield, Mass.-based Berkshire Health Systems filed a notice with state regulators indicating 94 employees will be laid off in February as part of a structural reorganization between it and Berkshire Healthcare Systems. Affected employees will be offered the opportunity to continue their current roles under an employment arrangement with a Berkshire Healthcare Systems entity, effective Feb. 1, a health system spokesperson informed Becker's Hospital Review

5. Pensacola, Fla.-based Baptist Health Care said in a notice filed with state regulators that it is eliminating 233 jobs in February when it outsources various services to Wayne, Pa.-based Compass One Healthcare. Affected employees were offered positions with Compass One at the same or higher wages, according to the Nov. 22 layoff notice. 

6. West Reading, Pa.-based Tower Health filed a notice in early November with state regulators indicating it would lay off 293 employees by the end of 2021. The health system said the layoffs would affect workers at Jennersville Hospital in West Grove, Pa., which the health system closed Dec. 31. Tower Health said it plans to close Brandywine Hospital in Coatesville, Pa., on Jan. 31. The two closures will result in the loss of more than 800 jobs, according to the Philadelphia Business Journal

7. Columbia University Irving Medical Center in New York City is laying off 56 workers in February, but affected employees will be offered employment with NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, according to a notice filed with the state Nov. 8. The layoffs are due to the integration of electronic medical records systems at Columbia University Irving Medical Center and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, according to the notice. 

8. Ascension Technologies, the IT subsidiary of St. Louis-based Ascension, outsourced about 330 tech jobs in November, according to a notice filed with the state. Affected employees were told they could apply for other positions within Ascension Technologies or with the new vendor that took over the tech support for application and platforms, collaboration and end-user engineering, network and telecom and field services areas.

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