Bristol Health eliminates 60 positions

Despite Bristol (Conn.) Health's financial improvements in fiscal year 2023, the health system has eliminated 60 positions in an effort to cut costs amid ongoing financial challenges faced across the healthcare industry.

The eliminations include 21 positions that are filled and 21 that are vacant, with the remaining cuts through "improved staffing management." The eliminations will result in around $6.1 million in reduced costs.

"These decisions were extremely difficult and painful to make," Kurt Barwis, president and CEO of Bristol Hospital, said in a statement shared with Becker's. "They were made after careful consideration of alternatives and with the best interest of our patients and the community we serve."

Bristol Health decreased its operating loss 22.4% year over year to $12.8 million in fiscal year 2023. 

"Eight months ago we implemented corrective actions with the goal of achieving $16.1 million in annual benefit without impacting quality, safety and access to the care we provide," Mr. Barwis said. "In January of 2024 we achieved the $16.1 million goal. In addition, we reduced our cost per adjusted discharge by 10.5% while at the same time reducing preventable denials by 13%. Further, we finished the first quarter of FY 2024 within $200,000 of our budget."

While Bristol Health's annual improvements have exceeded its fiscal year 2023 loss, Mr. Barwis pointed to "continued Medicare Advantage abuse and financial pressures associated with increased drug and medical spend" for the impact on the health system's financial health. 

Additionally, Mr. Barwis said state hospitals and health systems saw limited reimbursement rate increases in 2022 which led to overall loss in the same time period. 

The position eliminations did not include core service reduction and will not affect service safety or quality, Mr. Barwis said. 

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