MultiCare to lay off 200+ workers

MultiCare Health System, a 12-hospital organization based in Tacoma, Wash., will lay off 229 employees, or about 1 percent of its 23,000 staff members, including about two dozen leaders, as part of cost-cutting efforts, the health system said June 29.

The layoffs primarily affect support departments, such as marketing, IT and finance, according to a news release shared with Becker's. Reductions will be spread across the Puget Sound, Inland Northwest and Yakima regions. 

"The decision to eliminate staff is never an easy one and it is not an effort that we undertake lightly," Bill Robertson, CEO of MultiCare, said in the release. "These reductions are unfortunately necessary as MultiCare works to address our financial challenges. They were made after a thoughtful review of our operations and with the charge that any changes made must help ensure we can continue to care for our patients now, as well as be able to serve our communities in the future."

MultiCare attributed its financial challenges to factors such as inflation, labor shortages, increased costs of contract labor, as well as stagnation in Medicaid reimbursement rates in Washington state. The health system reported a loss of $121 million through May and a loss of $287 million in 2022.

In addition to staff reductions, MultiCare is making various other efforts to improve its financial picture, including work to use resources more efficiently in patient care areas, streamlining some support department structures and reducing some services, the health system said.

Most recently, MultiCare announced plans to expand virtual nursing to nine hospitals.

MultiCare has more than 22,000 team members.

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