Hospital layoffs to reach record high in 2010

Hospitals are on target to lay off more workers in 2010 than last year, which would rank this year as the worst for mass layoffs.

So far, hospitals have implemented 102 mass layoffs in 2010, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. BLS projects 153 mass layoffs by the close of the year--just one more than the peak of 152 mass layoffs in 2009, according to American Medical News.

Of the first eight months of 2010, seven had 10 or more mass layoffs. In August alone, hospitals initiated 12 mass layoffs, affecting 1,027 employees. A mass layoff involves 50 or more employees.

As of August, more than 8,000 hospital employees lost their jobs via mass layoffs. The total is expected to reach 12,349 hospital employees by year's end--the second-highest loss since 2000. The highest of 13,282 employees occurred in 2005, largely due to hospitals closures from Hurricane Katrina, notes amednews.

September data won't be released till Oct. 22, but as FierceHealthcare has noted, hospitals are continuing to announce job cuts. Last month, for example, New Hampshire-based Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center said it plans to cut 300 jobs over the next year to help close a $50 million budget gap.

In addition, El Camino Hospital in Los Gatos and Mountain View, Calif., plans to lay off 140 employees by the end of October to save money. Labor groups remain skeptical of the cuts, as the hospital raked in a $36 million profit for the fiscal year that ended in June. Boston Medical Center also said it will lay off 119 workers, effective Oct. 1, to reduce a projected $175 million loss for the yea.

For more:
- read the American Medical News article
- read Becker's Hospital Review piece on expected cuts