Largest hospital, health system layoffs of 2015

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

North Philadelphia Health System is consolidating operations and will close 146-bed St. Joseph's Hospital in Philadelphia in March 2016. The hospital closure will affect hundreds of St. Joseph's employees. Up to 675 workers may be laid off as a result of the hospital shutting down.

Milwaukee-based Ministry Health Care announced in October plans to cut 500 full-time equivalents across the entire system. Ministry's plan also includes consolidating positions, not filling open positions, not replacing people who resign or retire and adjusting employee hours, according to Ministry CEO Daniel Neufelder. It is unknown exactly how many people will lose their current jobs. However the number will be far less than 500, Mr. Neufelder said in October, according to the Marshfield News-Herald. The workforce reduction affects various types of positions, although they are more concentrated in support and administrative functions. 

Winston-Salem, N.C.-based Novant Health announced in July plans to lay off up to 400 employees systemwide. The layoffs are part of a reorganization initiative launched last year. The system called it "an operational balancing of our workforce."

Chesterfield, Mo.-based Mercy, one of the largest Catholic healthcare systems in the U.S., eliminated as many as 350 positions in June. The layoffs largely targeted leadership roles and hit a number of Mercy hospitals in Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma and Arkansas, as well as outreach ministries in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.

Hartford (Conn.) HealthCare announced in June plans to eliminate the equivalent of about 335 full-time jobs, which affect 418 staff members throughout the system. The 418 staff members affected by the layoffs include 105 workers in Hartford HealthCare's eastern Connecticut hospitals, 71 workers in its central Connecticut hospitals, 68 workers at Hartford Hospital and 174 workers in other facilities. Hartford HealthCare officials attributed the layoffs to cuts in reimbursements.

Spaulding Rehabilitation Network, part of Boston-based Partners HealthCare System, closed Spaulding Hospital for Continuing Medical Care North Shore, a rehabilitation hospital in Salem, Mass., due to financial troubles. About 300 positions were eliminated by the closing, which took place by Sept. 30.  

Cash-strapped Doctors Medical Center in San Pablo, Calif., closed April 21 after years of financial struggles. The hospital employed approximately 300 people.

Los Altos Hills, Calif.-based Daughters of Charity Health System cut 4 percent of its workforce following the collapse of its proposed sale of six hospitals to Ontario, Calif.-based Prime Healthcare Services. That equates to about 280 jobs out of about 7,000 at Daughters of Charity. As of April, some of the jobs had already been cut, while others were slated to be cut over the next several months.

Escondido, Calif.-based Palomar Health's board of directors voted June 24 to shut down its hospital in downtown Escondido. The hospital closure resulted in between 250 and 300 per diem and full-time workers being laid off.

Select Specialty Hospital-Houston Heights, an acute long-term care hospital in Houston, closed this summer. More than 220 employees were laid off.

Rhode Island Hospital in Providence eliminated nearly 200 positions and shut down an early intervention program for developmentally disabled children. Some of the positions eliminated were already vacant in anticipation of the need to reduce the workforce. The hospital cited a looming deficit as the reason behind the cuts.

About 180 workers were laid off at St. James Mercy Hospital in Hornell, N.Y., as part of the hospital's transition from a Livonia, Mich.-based Trinity Health ministry to "Independent SJMH," effective May 1, 2015. All 581 employees at St. James Mercy Hospital received a 90-day layoff notice. Nearly 400 of those employees were expected to be hired back as the hospital became independent of its parent company.

Forest Park Medical Center's hospitals in Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas, filed for bankruptcy less than a month ago, and more of the system's physician-owned hospitals are likely headed down the same path. Forest Park's hospital in Dallas closed Oct. 30, resulting in 196 layoffs. The system's Fort Worth hospital was put up for sale in October after the hospital missed an interest payment on a $66.8 million construction loan. Both hospitals were set for foreclosure auction on Dec. 1. However, with the recent bankruptcy filing, the auction was cancelled.

Financially troubled Bowie (Texas) Memorial Hospital officially shut down Nov. 16. Bowie Memorial's closure affected 138 hospital employees and an additional 336 jobs within the community.

Burlington, Mass.-based Lahey Health announced in May it would lay off 130 people at three hospitals as it works to cut costs. The layoffs represent about 1 percent of Lahey's workforce and include managers, clinicians and administrative staff.

Detroit Medical Center announced in December plans to lay off employees, eliminate open positions and overall reduce its workforce by 1 percent. DMC won't know the exact number of layoffs or labor reductions until employees have been informed of the workforce changes and decide on new positions offered to them. However, if DMC does reduce its workforce by 1 percent, about 125 employees would lose their jobs out of the system's 12,500-person workforce.

Hartford (Conn.) HealthCare announced in October it had reached a stalemate with the union and will implement changes at its Willimantic, Conn.-based Windham Hospital that include nearly 120 layoffs. Hartford HealthCare announced the transformation plan for Windham Hospital in June.

Houston-based Harris Health System announced in January 2015 plans to lay off 113 employees and left 149 open positions unfilled. Health system representatives cited an expected budget shortfall of $72 million for the fiscal year that began March 1, partially attributed to the state's decision not to expand Medicaid, as reason for the layoffs.

In an effort to save $10 million and stay afloat as costs rose faster than revenues, Boston-based Brigham and Women's Hospital in August announced plans to cut 100 positions. The cuts included layoffs and leaving vacant positions unfilled. Only non-patient facing jobs were affected. Hospital officials confirmed physicians, nurses and other staff who work directly with patients would not be laid off.

Weeks after a deal fell through with Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare, Waterbury (Conn.) Hospital in January 2015 shared plans to eliminate 80 full-time equivalent positions from its workforce. The reductions affect full- and part-time workers for a total of approximately 100 people. A third of the jobs were in management, a third were union workers and a third were nonunion employees.

Gallipolis, Ohio-based Holzer Health System in October announced it would eliminate about 100 jobs throughout southern Ohio and western West Virginia. The affected jobs are mostly in non-direct patient care positions. Holzer officials attributed the cuts to changes in healthcare service delivery models due to the Affordable Care Act, while also noting shrinking inpatient volumes and reduced Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements.

Tucson, Ariz.-based Carondelet Health Network laid off about 100 employees, the organization announced in December. The layoffs represent 3 percent of the system's workforce. A system spokeswoman did not disclose what departments of the company were affected by the layoffs. However, officials said the company mainly focused on improving efficiencies in administrative and related roles.

St. Mary's Hospital in Streator, Ill., will lay off an estimated 100 employees in January 2016. The layoffs come as Springfield, Ill.-based Hospital Sisters Health System is discontinuing inpatient healthcare services at St. Mary's Hospital and transferring ownership of the hospital and its related facilities to Peoria, Ill.-based OSF Healthcare System. OSF already has a physician office building in Streator and plans to initially use the former St. Mary's building to provide outpatient services. However, OSF also has plans to build a new outpatient center in Streator. Of the 300 affected employees at St. Mary's during the transition, roughly 180 had already accepted positions with OSF, and 10 had accepted positions at other HSHS facilities as of early December. Ten others expected to find employment at other HSHS facilities, and 100 are anticipated to receive severance packages.



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