New York system restructures workforce

Rome (N.Y.) Health Rome Health said it has "made the difficult decision" to restructure its workforce to close its budget gap.

The workforce changes affect 32 of the hospital's employees, according to a statement shared with Becker's from COO Ryan Thompson. Rome Health has 723 full-time-equivalent employees total.

"Some people were redeployed to open positions that were essential to our operations. Some people had their hours reduced. Some positions were eliminated. Our priority was to match our front-line employees to the work that needs to be done," Mr. Thompson said.

Affected workers were notified of the changes Oct. 25. The last day of work for those whose positions have been eliminated will be Nov. 30.

Mr. Thompson said the decision is in response to expenses for staffing and supplies growing faster than revenues. He specifically pointed to competition for qualified healthcare professionals, which he said continues to drive up labor costs, including agency expenses, that cannot be recouped.

He said the health system has identified strategies to strengthen its financial position, including recruiting more certified nursing assistants and licensed practical nurses, increasing the short-term rehab census in its nursing home, adding an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in upper extremity surgery, strengthening revenue cycle processes, and teams working collaboratively to reduce supply costs.

"For an organization like ours whose mission is centered around compassion, it is incredibly difficult to lose any of our dedicated colleagues because their contributions matter. However, the extraordinary financial pressures faced by hospitals and health systems require that we redesign healthcare to be sustainable for the long term," Mr. Thompson said.  

"Healthcare systems can't afford to do everything that we used to do in the way it's always been done. We have to prioritize our work and continue to transform because we can't expect our colleagues to do more with less."

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