Stamford Hospital cutting programs, staff to fund Connecticut tax increase: 7 things to know

With a state tax increase on the horizon, Stamford (Conn.) Hospital plans to lay off 20 employees, leave vacant 113 open positions and make cuts to its community outreach programming and local clinics, according to a Stamford Advocate report.

Here are seven things to know about the cuts.

1. The cuts come as the hospital faces a higher state tax beginning Oct. 1. Stamford Hospital estimates roughly $27.5 million of its upcoming $570 million budget will pay for Connecticut hospital taxes, which were increased by the state's legislature earlier this year to balance the state budget, according to the report. That amounts to roughly $9 million more in taxes than the previous year.

2. Stamford Hospital's final budget will cut 133 positions to cover the spending gap. The hospital, one of the city's biggest employers, has roughly 2,400 workers overall.

3. The hospital is eliminating its mobile wellness van. The services provided by that program — mammograms, ultrasounds and cardiac screenings, among other things — will now be provided at the hospital or its ambulatory sites, according to the report.

4. The hospital will also consolidate its community outreach and education, as well as the Corporate Wellness and Population Health programs, according to the report. The jobs cut belong to nurses, mammographers, nutritionists and managers of those consolidated or eliminated programs.

5. Another major cut will be the roughly $2 million in aid for primary care clinics operated by Bridgeport, Conn.-based Optimus Health Care, the largest provider of primary healthcare services in Southwestern Connecticut, according to the Stamford Advocate. Optimus has more than a dozen comprehensive community health centers located in Bridgeport, Stratford, and Stamford. That cut isn't anticipated to take effect until 2017, when the hospital's current contract with Optimus expires.

6. As the hospital deals with workforce and program cuts, the hospital's executives and medical leadership will forgo a 2.25 percent raise. However, other hospital staff will receive raises so that salaries remain competitive, Ms. Silard told the Samford Advocate.

7. In addition to Stamford Hospital, the state tax has already led to cuts and job losses for both Hartford (Conn.) HealthCare and the Yale New Haven (Conn.) Health System.



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