Washington community hospital to see more layoffs amid financial struggles: 6 things to know

Grays Harbor Community Hospital is slated to receive some monetary help from the state, but the Aberdeen, Wash.-based facility still expects additional layoffs as it works toward being financially sound, according to The Vidette.

Here are six things to know.

1. The state supplemental operating budget includes a proviso for Grays Harbor. Hospital officials said this will allow the organization to receive 150 percent of the Medicaid fee schedule until June 30, 2019. As a result, Grays Harbor is projected to receive part of $3.5 million in additional state and federal funds, according to The Vidette. Olympic Medical Center in Port Angeles, Wash., is also projected to receive part of the $3.5 million to increase its Medicaid reimbursement rate.

2. However, Grays Harbor confirmed more layoffs are expected amid the hospital's efficiency improvement efforts. The hospital did not indicate the exact number of layoffs or the positions that could be affected. Hospital departments will have to provide efficiency plans beginning March 12, according to a hospital news release cited by The Vidette.

3. Ongoing efforts to improve the hospital's finances also include working with Navigant consulting firm to bring in subject matter experts to help implement hospital goals; a rural health clinic project go-live scheduled for April 16, 2018, which is designed to allow the hospital to receive cost-based reimbursement for primary care; and restructuring hospital debt and refinancing its $35 million loan with Key Bank.

4. Grays Harbor has struggled financially for at least the last year, partially due to declining patient volume. To improve its financial picture, the hospital subcontracted billing services in January, resulting in the layoff of 21 employees. The hospital also cut seven health information management jobs last fall. Additionally, Grays Harbor lost its COO and CFO in recent weeks amid concerns regarding the hospital's financial situation.

5. Overall, Grays Harbor expects losses of more than $8 million for 2017, according to the report.

6. Grays Harbor spokesperson Nancee Long told Becker's Hospital Review more details about efficiency moves and workforce changes are forthcoming.


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