Baystate Health asks for $10M to save 200 jobs

Springfield, Mass.-based Baystate Health is experiencing financial strain and may have to lay off up to 200 employees if it does not obtain an additional $10 million through the annual state budget process, according to The Republican.

The system has a large number of Medicaid patients, and reimbursements from commercial payers aren't high enough to offset the losses from the system's Medicaid population. Baystate reported an operating loss of $9.8 million in 2015, down from a surplus of $57.2 million the year prior.

This week, the Massachusetts House will consider a state budget amendment that would earmark $10 million for Baystate. If the system is unable to get the funding, it will have to cut costs across the board, a Baystate spokeswoman told The Republican.

Baystate will first attempt to renegotiate vendor contracts and reduce supply costs, but it may also have to cut programs and up to 200 jobs.

Massachusetts Rep. Benjamin Swan (D-Springfield) is the prime sponsor of the budget amendment.

"I'm trying to save 200 jobs," he told The Republican. "We've been told if they don't get the money, they're going to start laying off people. That's the long and short of it."

If the amendment makes it into the House budget and through the Senate, it will then go to Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker. The governor must sign the budget by July 1.

More articles on healthcare finance:

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Healthcare executives expect financial growth, more M&A in 2016
A state-by-state breakdown of 71 rural hospital closures

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