Layoffs hit US hospitals hard

Layoffs are hitting hospitals nationwide, particularly in the southeast.

For example, KentuckyOne Health cut approximately 66 positions from Jewish Hospital in Louisville this week, an employee told WDRB. As recently as mid-January the health system touted the addition of more than 20 high-level jobs on its employee site.

KentuckyOne also cut jobs at University of Louisville Hospital, although it did not specify how many at either location. "There are numbers floating around out there, but we're not going to be able to talk about that until later this week, until all the work is done," KentuckyOne spokesman David McArthur told WLKY. However, employees knew about potential layoffs since January when the organization announced it had a $218 million loss, according to Louisville Business First.

Some KentuckyOne facilities will feel the cuts more than others, CEO Ruth Brinkley told Louisville Business First in January. "Not every location will have every service," she said. "It's going to be hard for some of our areas to accept that."

Employees at Cleveland (Texas) Regional Medical Center staged a walk out this week in protest of 20 job cuts and leaders there also voiced concerns about resource limitations. "We still have the appropriate staffing to support the ER and other essential services," CEO Vicki Newsome told Dallas/Fort Worth Healthcare Daily, "but that could change if we lose more personnel."

Meanwhile, in Florida, Health Management Associates (HMA) in late January announced 395 layoffs, the largest job cut reported to the state Department of Economic Opportunity so far this year, according to the Laker/Lutz News. The announcement comes in the wake of HMA's purchase by Community Health Systems (CHS) and several whistleblower suits against the chain. However, this figure includes about 100 employees who will receive job offers to work within the restructured organization, as well as those who leave voluntarily, according to CHS spokeswoman Tomi Galin.

"As a result, even though the WARN [Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification] notice indicates that approximately 400 jobs are affected, many of these individuals will have jobs in our organization, or have already found other jobs," Galin told the News.

And HealthSouth, a 108-bed inpatient rehabilitation hospital in Erie, Pa., has confirmed 18 job cuts, due in large part to declining inpatient volumes, WSEE reports.

To learn more:
- here's the WDRB article
- read the KentuckyOne announcement (.pdf)
- check out the WLKY article
- read the Louisville Business First article and interview
- here's the Dallas/Fort Worth Healthcare Daily article
- here's the Laker/Lutz News story
- here's the WSEE article