M Health Fairview to cut 500 jobs, consider hospital closures amid $80M shortfall

Minneapolis-based M Health Fairview plans to cut about 500 jobs to address a looming budget crisis, according to the Star Tribune. The system also is considering scaling back or ending services at some hospitals.

M Health Fairview, a newly merged and branded system formed by Minneapolis-based Fairview Health Services, University of Minnesota and University of Minnesota Physicians, is expected to have an $80 million shortfall next year. 

The layoffs, disclosed Nov. 22 in internal memos, are one of several strategies that emerged from a five-week series of "war room" sessions to address the financial issues at the newly created organization. The joint clinical agreement between the three organizations was announced in September 2018 and was finalized Jan. 1.

"The decision by Fairview to lay off employees is incredibly difficult," University of Minnesota President Joan Gabel wrote in an internal memo obtained by the Star Tribune. "There are sound financial reasons why this action is necessary, but it does not lessen the pain employees will feel or the concern that patients may have due to this news."

The system is  considering reducing operations at Bethesda long-term care hospital in St. Paul, Minn., and closing St. Joseph’s Hospital in St. Paul, according to the report. 

Closing or reorganizing clinics is also on the table, the report said. 

The layoffs are expected to occur in early 2020. The system hopes to achieve most of the job cuts by closing open positions instead of cutting staff. 

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