Jackson Health lays off hospital CEO, staff amid financial woes

Jackson Health System has reduced compensation programs for senior leaders; laid off fewer than 25 people, including one hospital CEO; and frozen many vacant positions, especially in support and nonclinical areas, a spokesperson for the Miami-based organization confirmed to Becker's.

Jackson Health System President and CEO Carlos Migoya shared these efforts in a message to staff March 4, citing financial challenges.

"We are in the middle of our most difficult financial period since we began transforming Jackson Health System in 2011," Mr. Migoya wrote. "Our patient volume, which grew quickly after the COVID-19 pandemic, has slowed considerably in a few high-revenue services. The payments we receive for patient care, especially from insurance companies, are constantly being squeezed. And the substantial raises given to most employees last year — which were absolutely the right thing to do — have significantly increased our daily cost of doing business, as has unprecedented inflation in supplies, equipment and other expenses.

"Fortunately, many of you have been part of transformational work this year to reduce waste, improve efficiency, and help our patients get superb care more quickly and safely. This kind of work is key to our long-term success.

"Unfortunately, some of these challenges have come so quickly and intensely that we need to take additional steps right now. Only a small number of people will be directly impacted, but we know that can be disruptive to the entire team. That’s why I wanted to be open about the changes."

These changes include reduced compensation programs for senior leaders, such as cutting the vehicle allowance for about 30 hospital leaders, according to the Miami Herald. The allowance covered the cost of travel between facilities.

Jackson Health System, a nonprofit academic medical system governed by the Public Health Trust,  also reorganized some clinical and support teams "in ways we believe will maintain or improve performance," Mr. Migoya said in his message to workers, which was shared with Becker's. This included reassigning some into other roles and layoffs of 25 people out of the health system's 15,000 team members.

"Many of those are non-union roles, and the others are being carried out according to the terms of our collective bargaining agreements," Mr. Migoya said. 

The layoffs mostly affected those in managerial roles who were not involved with direct patient care, Michelle Kligman, senior vice president of human resources and chief experience officer, told the Herald. She also said at least seven affected workers were reassigned to other roles at the health system. Those affected by the layoffs included directors, managers, analysts, coordinators and Jackson South Medical Center CEO Ben Rodriguez, the newspaper reported. Senior Vice President and Jackson West Medical Center CEO Edward Borrego will now also be responsible for Jackson South Medical Center.

Jackson Health System also froze more than a dozen vacant positions not related to direct patient care, according to the Herald.

Additionally, a health system spokesperson told Becker's the organization is working to reduce all areas of premium pay back to pre-pandemic levels and has made progress with this effort.

"This is not a crisis," Mr. Migoya said. "Our hospitals and outpatient facilities remain busy with patients who trust our caregivers. These financial pressures are common in our industry today, especially among academic centers like ours."

Mr. Migoya told the Herald all the changes represent a $40 million adjustment for the $3 billion-a-year organization, and he expects Jackson Health System to be back on budget by the end of 2024.  

Read the full Herald report here.


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