Trios Health to cut 3 outpatient therapy services

Kennewick, Wash.-based Trios Health will no longer provide some outpatient therapy services due to cost.

The public health system plans to discontinue outpatient physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech-language services Feb. 28. It will still offer outpatient cardiac rehab and pulmonary rehab.

"The challenge has been — and continues to be — that the service line's revenues, which include reimbursements from insurances, do not cover the cost of delivering the services. And, they haven't for years," Trios Health CEO Craig Cudworth said in a statement. "Despite our best efforts to find ways to cover the losses and preserve these outpatient services, we have arrived at a point that we must make a difficult change or suffer further consequences to Trios Health at a time when we cannot afford to lose ground."

He said the system lost $450,000 last year due to lower reimbursements from Medicare and Medicaid for the three services being discontinued. 

Now that the outpatient therapy services will end, Trios Health is making efforts to find displaced staff other available jobs within the system or jobs with other local therapy service providers.

The decision to discontinue physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech-language services comes as Trios Health works to improve its financial picture. The system cut 95 full-time equivalent positions as of April 1, 2017 through attrition, scheduling and work hour changes, voluntary layoffs, and involuntary layoffs. Approximately three months later, the organization filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy so it could restructure debt while continuing operations. Additionally, Trios Health laid off nine other employees earlier this month.

The system said negotiations with key creditors as part of the bankruptcy filing are ongoing, as are talks with Brentwood, Tenn.-based for-profit hospital operator RCCH HealthCare Partners and Seattle-based UW Medicine about a potential relationship.

"This process has taken a lot longer than anyone expected. But we firmly believe that we will soon come to agreement and be in a position to move forward — out of bankruptcy and as a stronger asset for this community," Mr. Cudworth said. "The service adjustments we’re making in the interim — such as those to our Therapy Services department — will better position us to achieve that."

 

More articles on healthcare finance:
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Why this $15M gift to an LA hospital is so unusual

 

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