Confluence Health freezes hiring of most nonclinical roles

Wenatchee, Wash.-based Confluence Health is placing a temporary freeze on hiring most nonclinical positions.

The health system announced the decision Oct. 31, citing a need to "ensure sustainable patient services." It continues to focus on hiring for clinical roles.

"Patients are our priority and we want to focus for the time being on hiring positions with a direct impact on patient care," Confluence Health CEO Andrew Jones, MD, said in a news release shared with Becker's. "Additionally, we want to ensure that we are keeping Confluence Health on sound, sustainable financial footing and getting back to budget during this time when so many healthcare systems are struggling financially. This temporary initiative will help ensure that we will be in a good position to continue to provide the best in care, and we do that by keeping our financial house in order."

Hospitals and health systems across the U.S. are facing financial challenges. Kaufman Hall's October National Hospital Flash Report — based on data from more than 900 hospitals — found that hospitals saw their ninth straight month of negative operating margins in September.

Confluence Health said it has not been immune to financial challenges and faced a $13 million loss during the third quarter of 2022 due to various factors.

Its decision to temporarily freeze hiring of most nonclinical roles is aimed at ensuring sound, sustainable footing and maintaining independence, the health system said.

Confluence Health still plans to hire some nonclinical positions on a case-by-case basis. No layoffs are planned.

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