Ascension Michigan lays off 500 hospital workers: 6 things to know

Ascension Michigan, part of St. Louis-based Ascension, has laid off 500 employees, or roughly 2 percent of its 26,000-person workforce, according to hospital officials.

Gwen MacKenzie, Michigan market executive of Ascension Michigan, confirmed the layoffs reported by Crain's Detroit Business March 11. However, she declined to provide any additional information abut the transitions.  

Here are six things to know.

1. Employees affected by the layoffs include nurses as well as 20 executives or managers. Other affected job categories cited in the Crain's report include medical therapists, technicians and unit clerks.

2. Ms. MacKenzie told Crain's Ascension Michigan anticipates laying off more employees following examination of staffing and notifying representatives of unionized employees.

3. In the interview with Crain's, Ms. MacKenzie noted the changing healthcare landscape, saying Ascension Michigan, like various other healthcare entities, is dealing with issues such as regulatory burdens and reduced reimbursement from payers. 

4. She told the publication: "We may be a leader as all health systems go through the same rapidly changing landscape with reimbursement decline, people transitioning to outpatient (care). We are focusing on ambulatory growth. ... Healthcare costs are a major issue and we are addressing that now."

5. The news of layoffs at Ascension Michigan comes as St. Louis-based Ascension saw operating income decline 78 percent in the first half of fiscal year 2018. The system also reported lower revenues compared to the same period the year prior.

6. In addition to layoffs, restructuring has also included cutting nonlabor costs, integrating executive jobs between facilities, and creating a statewide corporate team in Michigan, according to the Crain's article.

Read the full Crain's article here.



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