Largest hospital, health systems layoffs of 2014

Thirty-eight hospital and health systems announced or implemented workforce reductions affecting more than 100 employees this year. The following systems are listed below, in order of the number of positions affected.

Englewood, Colo.-based Catholic Health Initiatives will cut 1,500 positions by the end of January. The health system cited lower-than-expected operating and financial performance in the first quarter of the 2015 fiscal year caused by a reduced utilization of services as one of the main reasons for the cuts.

Cleveland Clinic cut several hundred open positions in January, and about 700 employees accepted early retirement offers as part of the system's plan to cut $330 million.

State University of New York in Brooklyn laid off 600 nurses, physicians, technicians, patient care associates and support services staff at Long Island College Hospital in March. SUNY said the layoffs were part of an effort to align staffing levels with patient volume and available services.

Detroit Medical Center finalized plans to lay off 565 employees in late October after proposing a plan to outsource housekeeping services earlier that month. The layoffs affected employees in seven locations. According to a statement from DMC, Sodexo willingly agreed to offer employment to all existing staff members who successfully complete the on-boarding process.

Northern Berkshire Healthcare in North Adams, Mass., closed its North Adams Regional Hospital, home health facility and three hospital-owned physician practices in March. This affected about 530 full- and part-time employees. The system said the closures and layoffs were due to a decrease in patient volume.

KentuckyOne Health in Louisville laid off 500 employees, and an additional 200 vacant positions were eliminated in February as part of the system's attempt to cut $218 million from its budget by the end of the fiscal year 2015.

Crittenden Regional Hospital in West Memphis, Ark., officially closed its doors in September after entering into a Chapter 7 bankruptcy process. Crittenden stopped admitting new patients in August. Approximately 400 employees were affected by the hospital's closing.

University Medical Center in Las Vegas laid off 285 employees in August in its second round of layoffs this year, leaving the system with a total of 390 layoffs. The layoffs affected nurses, office assistants and other supporting staff, and UMC also ended its outpatient oncology services, outpatient pharmacy and other clinic services. Earlier this year, 105 employees were laid off when UMC closed four urgent care centers.

Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Berkeley, Calif., a Sutter Health affiliate, eliminated 358 jobs in January, the equivalent of 175 full-time positions. Alta Bates Summit said it closed its skilled nursing facility in Oakland and its inpatient infusion center due to decreased patient volumes.

Hospital Corporation of America, based in Nashville, Tenn., announced plans to close its Edward White Hospital in St. Petersburg, Fla., in November. HCA officials said a significant rise in unoccupied licensed hospital beds throughout the region contributed to the decision to close the hospital. The closure affected 354 employees, and about 85 percent of employees will have the opportunity to transition into similar roles at other hospitals within HCA West Florida.

Wake Forest Baptist in Winston-Salem, N.C., eliminated 350 jobs in May. The health system said they made the cuts to help close the increasing gap between raised expenses and declining reimbursement from federal and state health insurance and other sources of revenue.

Hartford (Conn.) HealthCare eliminated 350 jobs through layoffs and attrition in June. About 230 employees were laid off or left through buyouts and retirement, while the rest of the positions will remain vacant.

University of Missouri Health Care in Columbia closed its rehabilitation center October 31, affecting the 323 employees who staff the long-term acute-care hospital.

Mercy, based in Chesterfield, Mo., laid off 300 employees across three states in June. The health system attributed the workforce reduction to a lack of Medicaid expansion in most of the states it serves.

St. Francis Medical Center in Monroe, La., offered about 300 employees a voluntary layoffs package in September. Officials cited major market shifts in the healthcare industry and regional changes as primary reasons for adjusting staffing levels at the hospital.

Crozer-Keystone Health System in Springfield, Pa., laid of 250 physicians and managers. The health system attributed the layoffs to decreased admissions, lower Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements, and an increase in visits from uninsured patients.

Kindred Healthcare, based in Louisville, Ky., eliminated 246 jobs when it closed two Texas hospitals in June. The transitional and extended-stay hospital operator closed its 83-bed location in Channelview, Texas, which eliminated 139 jobs, and its 86-bed facility Houston, which cut 107 jobs.

Washington Hospital in Fremont, Calif., eliminated a total of 244 positions in September. Thirty-one employees were laid off, 196 positions were eliminated through attrition and 17 employees accepted a severance package and retired voluntarily. The hospital cited healthcare reform, reductions in Medicare reimbursement and the rise of high deductible, high co-pay commercial insurance as reasons for the workforce reductions.

Columbus (Ga.) Regional Health eliminated 219 positions in November, which led to 99 layoffs, including three members of executive leadership. The workforce reduction, in addition to savings found in the supply chain, is expected to save more than $23 million.

Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., cut 188 medical transcriptionist jobs in Wisconsin in June. Mayo Clinic said the layoffs were applied as a result of an outsourcing contract to reduce costs.

Mountain States Health Alliance, based in Johnson City, Tenn., eliminated 161 jobs in January in a cost-cutting move. MSHA cited declining reimbursements and lower patient volumes as reasons for the employee reduction.

Yukon-Kushokwim Health in Bethel, Alaska, eliminated 160 jobs when it laid off 110 employees and left 50 positions empty in June. The health system said the layoffs were part of a plan to decrease expenses. Yukon-Kushokwim Health includes one regional hospital and several community clinics.

St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, Calif., laid off 152 employees and left 18 positions vacant in February. The hospital attributed the layoffs to a cost-cutting initiative, and it shared plans to cut 5 percent of its budget for the current fiscal year in response to low patient volumes and reimbursement cuts.

Union Hospital in Terre Haute and Clinton, Ind., plans to eliminate 150 jobs by the end of the year. The system said its revenue was greatly impacted by the federal sequester and other cuts to Medicare and Medicaid. Additionally, Union Hospital reported a drop of roughly 10 percent in overnight patient stays.

In early November Akron, Ohio-based Summa Health System laid off 140 employees, reduced the hours of 30 others left another 30 positions vacant. The layoffs and other cuts were spread among the system's fully owned hospitals and other businesses and affected employees at all levels, including clinical care. Summa has been struggling financially and the workforce cuts are expected to save the system millions annually.  

Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines, Iowa, laid off 29 employees and left 107 positions vacant in May. Mercy said it made the cuts to trim $15 million in spending. Those affected by the layoffs were in management or support positions and not directly involved in patient care. Mercy Medical Center President Robert Ritz cited low Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements, as well as the two-midnight rule, as reasons for the workforce reduction.

Mission Health, based in Asheville, N.C., eliminated 130 jobs in September. Mission Health said the layoffs were the result of a reorganization plan. The six-hospital system plans to add 147 jobs next year to handle outpatient services growth and another 37 workers to care for mental health patients.

MaineGeneral Health in Augusta, Maine, eliminated 128 jobs by laying off 16 employees and cutting 112 empty full-time positions in July. Two of the positions were directly involved in patient care, and several manager positions were also eliminated. The system said overstaffing combined with reduced Medicare reimbursements and other factors led to the need for layoffs.

Detroit Medical Center Surgery Hospital in Madison Heights, Mich., closed due to damages sustained from flooding in August. The first phase of the shutdown began on Oct. 3 and concluded Oct. 10. The hospital's 127 employees have been laid off.

Meritus Health in Hagerstown, Md., laid off 60 employees and eliminated an additional 60 vacant positions in February in an effort to meet its 2014 budget. The 120 positions represent a 4 percent cut to Meritus Health's overall workforce.

Indiana University Health in Bloomington will lay off 120 employees when it closes its proton therapy center at the end of 2014. IU Health said advancements in cancer treatment, declining reimbursement rates for the proton treatment and aging equipment made the center financially unstable, leading to its closure.

High Point (N.C.) Regional Health eliminated 115 jobs, or 5 percent of its workforce, in May. High Point said it made the cuts in an effort to reduce spending after experiencing lower patient volumes and reduced reimbursements from Medicare and Medicaid. High Point Regional Health is part of Chapel Hill-based UNC Health Care. Both clinical and non-clinical employees were affected by the workforce reduction.

Kern Medical Center in Bakersfield, Calif., eliminated 111 positions this August, including 51 layoffs. Kern said the layoffs were part of an initiative to reduce spending.

Queen of the Valley Medical Center in Napa, Calif., eliminated 111 positions, or about 10 percent of its staff, this summer. The layoffs resulted from the closure of four outpatient units, including its wound care clinic, its WorkHealth Occupation Health Services, the cardiac rehabilitation clinic and its forensics clinic.

St. Francis Healthcare of Hawaii in Honolulu said it laid off 110 employees and eliminated its hospice and home health services to achieve financial sustainability. The system ceased offering a home health program on June 30 and also announced plans to close another hospice unit.

University of Massachusetts Memorial Health Care in Worcester eliminated 103 full-time equivalent positions, including nurses, this June in its third workforce reduction in less than a year. While some employees were laid off, the loss of 103 positions also came through reducing employee hours and leaving positions vacant. UMass said the layoffs were the result of reduced patient volumes and demand for certain services.

Meadowlands Hospital in Secaucus, N.J., eliminated 102 positions in July. Meadowlands attributed the layoffs to financial difficulties and low patient volumes. The 230-bed, for-profit hospital had an average of 25 inpatients after its patient count fell more than 30 percent between May and July.

Kaiser Permanente, based in Oakland, Calif., laid off 101 employees of Kaiser Permanente Hawaii, which operates one hospital and 20 clinics on three Hawaii islands. The layoffs were issued in February and affected 66 security guards and 16 transporters, among other positions. They health system attributed the layoffs to organizational restructuring for improved operations.

This list was updated on Dec. 29, 2014.

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