Nearly 200 eligible Southcoast Health employees accept buyouts

Nearly 200 employees at New Bedford, Mass.-based Southcoast Health System accepted voluntarily buyouts, according to Peter Cohenno, a hospital spokesman.

Of the 352 eligible employees, 189 accepted the offer, which was deemed a "first step in reducing costs." 

In the first nine months of fiscal year 2017, the hospital saw a $29 million operating loss, according to PBN.

In an Aug. 31 letter to employees, Keith Hoven, president and CEO of Southcoast Health, said the company had addressed the operating loss through financial imperatives that would drive targeted growth, utilize resources responsibly, maximize patient access and evaluate services. 

"We are beginning to see improvements because of those imperatives, but it has become obvious that we also must reduce payroll costs," Mr. Hoven wrote.

In the letter, Mr. Hoven introduced a voluntary severance plan for full-time employees at least 62-years old with 20 years of service at the health system.  Eligible employees had 45 days to accept the buyouts. The final day to accept was Oct. 23.

When asked if a next step will be necessary to further reduce labor costs, hospital spokesman said the health system "was analyzing the results of this program," according to Southcoast Today.  

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