Missouri hospital lays off 50, plans to close inpatient pediatrics nursing unit

Boone Hospital Center in Columbia, Mo., which is managed by St. Louis-based BJC HealthCare, laid off 50 employees Monday due to financial challenges caused by low patient volume and dwindling reimbursement.

A hospital spokesman said the layoffs, which represent about 3 percent of the hospital's 1,700-member workforce, mostly affected managerial and support staff, according to The Columbia Missourian.

Hospital trustees said they tried to avoid the workforce reduction, but their efforts were unsuccessful.

"We are very disappointed," Brian Neuner, hospital board chairman, said at a board meeting Monday, according to The Columbia Missourian. "We communicated that to local administrations, and we went to St. Louis and said, 'Can you find another way?'"

The layoffs come as Boone Hospital Center is in exclusive partnership talks with Columbia-based University of Missouri Health Care. 

In addition to the layoffs, Boone Hospital also announced plans to close its inpatient pediatrics nursing unit to help shore up its finances. It is unclear when the hospital will close the unit. 

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