Maine hospital to lay off 22, freeze salaries

Farmington, Maine-based Franklin Community Health Network, which includes Franklin Memorial Hospital in Farmington, is laying off nearly two dozen employees and leaving other vacant positions unfilled, according to a WGME report.

Twenty-two full-time employees have been told they are being laid off. Another 18 vacant positions will remain unfilled for a total of 40 full-time positions that are being cut, according to the report. Additionally, salaries will be frozen.

Franklin Community Health Network, which has lost $15 million over the last five years, attributed the cuts, in part, to decreased Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements. Officials also point to the state failing to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

"The Medicaid expansion is going to be critical to keep hospitals stable," State Sen. Tom Saviello (R-Wilton) said, according to WGME. "But somehow that message did not get across to my colleagues. And I guess sadly what the message will get across to them, as they see hospitals perhaps in their rural districts change dramatically, because of lack of reimbursement and because expansion didn't go through."

Aside from the layoffs and salary freeze, Franklin Memorial Hospital will eliminate one operating room, reduce its emergency room staff and the number of intensive care beds and close its underused radiology office in Rangeley, Maine, according to the report.

Hospital spokeswoman Jill Gray estimated that the cost-saving measures should save more than $4 million annually.


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