St. Francis Hospital to lay off 65, leaves 15 positions unfilled

Columbus, Ga.-based St. Francis Hospital has announced it will lay off 65 employees and not fill an additional 15 positions due to financial inaccuracies that were discovered.

The employees being laid off primarily work in non-patient care areas, according to a news release.

According to the release, the St. Francis Board of Trustees and the hospital's CEO discovered they received misstatements in the current and prior years' financial information. Those misstatements appeared in a preliminary financial review, which revealed about $29.7 million of net assets were overstated in hospital financial statements over the last several years, according to a news release.

The overstatement was corrected, but doing so led to the realization the hospital had a current year-to-date operating deficit of about $12.8 million – a number that will likely go up during the rest of 2014, according to the release.

In the meantime, "the Board of Trustees has engaged respected physicians, business and civic community leaders … to work with the board committee to formulate a plan to ensure a financially sustainable future for the hospital," St. Francis Board of Trustees Chairman Richard Bradley said in the news release.

Additionally, St. Francis plans to hire internal auditors and take other measures "to strengthen its financial processes and to support the integrity of the financial information to the board and the community."

However, even though the hospital has high admissions, surgeries and patient satisfaction, it will still have to lay off employees, according to the release.

"Today is a very difficult day for St. Francis and our associates," said Robert Granger, president and CEO of St. Francis, in the release. "I personally regret that this is happening."

More articles on lay offs:

Hospital layoffs amid rising healthcare employment: 4 thoughts

Cape Fear Valley Health announces 19 layoffs

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