10 Hospitals or Health Systems Announcing Employee Restructuring

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Reduced reimbursements, lower patient volumes, a slow economic turnaround and rising costs of uncompensated care are some of the most common and difficult challenges facing hospitals and healthcare systems today. In efforts to balance budgets and remain financially viable, hospitals are sometimes forced to make the difficult decision of restructuring employees to contain costs. Here are 10 recent hospitals or health system announcing employee restructuring, which can include job cuts, lay offs and furloughs.

1. Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Polson, Mont., laid off 10 employees as part of its efforts to save $500,000. The layoffs affected those working in nonclinical departments, including a transcription and dietary supervisor and executive assistant.

2. Jackson Health System in Miami has ordered nearly 11,000 employees with annual salaries ranging from 25,000-$200,000 to take two weeks of unpaid leave from now until Sept. 30, 2012. In addition, the health system is requiring those who make less than $25,000 and more than $200,000 to take five furlough days and 11 furlough days, respectively. CEO Carlos Migoya said the furlough days could help the Jackson save $27.5 million.

3. EMH Healthcare, based in Elyria, Ohio, will cut 55 positions across the health system, with most of those cuts affecting EMH Elyria Medical Center. Twenty-five of the job cuts are from the elimination of vacant positions. The remaining 30 job cuts affected employees from non-clinical departments.

4. Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H., will lay off up to 100 employees in order to remain financially viable. Dartmouth-Hitchcock offered early retirement packages to 725 nonclinical employees in August, but only 291 employees accepted the proposition. The news report did not disclose which departments would be affected by the layoffs.

5. St. Joseph Health System, based in Lexington, Ky., will lay off 36 surgical employees at two of its hospitals. Thirty-two employees at St. Joseph Hospital and four employees at St. Joseph East have been laid off due to decreased surgical volumes. St. Joseph East experienced fewer layoffs because the facility focuses on outpatient procedures.

6. PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center in Bellingham, Wash., will lay off 17 non-nursing employees, while 33 other employees accepted early retirement earlier this year. Taking into account a partial hiring freeze and work redesign, a total reduction of 81 full-time equivalent positions will go into effect.

7. UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester, Mass., plans to lay off four registered nurses that serve as lactation consultants in December. The affected nurses' work will be outsourced to non-nurse consultants who will provide breastfeeding education.

8. Officials at Southern Coos Hospital in Bandon, Ore., laid off up to 10 more employees. Since August, 15 hospital employees have been laid off or left their positions. Details on which departments were affected by this round of layoffs were not disclosed.

9. Cleveland-based MetroHealth System eliminated 104 jobs and will not fill 151 vacant positions. The health system did not say what specific positions will be cut, but it expects 11 percent of administrative services and 8.6 percent of support services will be reduced.

10. More than 50 employees at Peninsula Hospital in Far Rockaway, N.Y., received layoff notifications. Those who received layoff notifications include nurses, X-ray technicians and respiratory therapists. The financially strapped hospital, which is currently undergoing restructuring, was recently acquired by Brooklyn-based Revival Home Health Care.

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