Oregon hospital to close behavioral health unit, lay off 56 temporary employees

Coos Bay, Ore.-based Bay Area Hospital will close its inpatient behavioral health unit and cancel the contracts of 56 temporary employees in response to financial challenges from COVID-19 and high labor costs.

The cancellation of these contracts will take place in 14 to 30 days, according to a May 25 news release. The closure of the behavioral health unit is expected to occur within 30 days.

Bay Area Hospital cited the high costs of temporary labor, which more than doubled in the last year, as the reason for increased expenses. The hospital has spent about $19 million since September to cover temporary labor, it said.

"These changes will reduce the organization’s annual expenses and align our cost of operations with our budget," the hospital said in the release. 

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