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Layoffs on the Rise: Six Healthcare Companies Giving Staff the Boot

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It’s been a tough year for healthcare companies of all sizes, from major hospital chains to small rehabilitation centers. Many facilities had to limit in-person services while delaying profit-generating elective procedures. That’s not to say that everyone is suffering, however. Some companies, including Tenet and Universal Health Services, are posting record profits heading out of the pandemic, but many businesses are laying off staff to make up for lost revenue.

Six notable healthcare companies are currently getting rid of workers to save money on operations. Here’s what you need to know:

Franciscan Health

Based in Mishawaka, Indiana, the company says it plans to turn its 226-bed facility into an 8-bed acute care facility with an ER and primary care practice attached to save on money. Acute care tends to be the most profitable type of healthcare. As a result, it will lay off 83 workers starting in mid-August. The company says the layoffs will be permanent.

Health Alliance of the Hudson Valley

The three-hospital system in upstate New York says it laid off an undisclosed number of workers on June 14th with more layoffs to come as the system consolidates into just one facility. Westchester Medical Center Health Network acquired Health Alliance of the Hudson Valley in 2016.

“The next phase of consolidating the operations of two hospitals into one hospital will result in position redundancies,” WMC Health told the press. “As such, some reduction in our workforce is necessary for operational efficiencies and responsible fiscal management of the organization.”

Sutter Health

The Sacramento, CA-based company says it plans to lay off another 400 staff members in addition to 277 IT specialists that were laid off in April. The company says most of the layoffs will affect those that work in human resources, data services, and accounting. They added that many of these employees have been working remotely in the field.

“Moving forward, we will continue to work to minimize staff reductions and their impact on our dedicated employees as we look for ways to eliminate variation, streamline resources, and more efficiently manage our indirect costs,” a spokesperson told the media.

The company finished out 2020 with a $321 million loss in operations. It received around $800 million in coronavirus relief from the federal government. Without that additional aid, the company would have been over $1.1 billion in the red.

Ascension Technologies

As an IT subsidiary of the healthcare company Ascension, the firm laid off 651 employees earlier this year. Just a month later, it said it was also going to eliminate 92 remote IT jobs in Indiana, most of which are in Indianapolis or Evansville.

This comes as Ascension begins working with a third party, which will take over the company’s digital services, including EHRs and revenue management. Ascension oversees 2,600 healthcare facilities across the country.

CIO Gerry Lewis commented on the company’s decision in a recent blog post, writing, “The pandemic has underscored the importance of our ongoing effort to reimagine and transform our approach to technology as we create greater access to our health system for all consumers. More than ever before, patients expect a seamless, safe, and effective consumer experience, enabled by cutting-edge technology, and caregivers need to be relieved of many of the burdens of overly complex and disconnected technology systems. We are striving to meet these changing needs and expectations head on.”

Lawrence Massachusetts General Hospital

The 186-bed facility says it will lay off 56 employees, with more layoffs to come unless it receives additional aid from the federal government. The cuts are expected to affect around 2.5% of employees, including those that work in administration and patient care. The company says the COVID-19 pandemic is to blame, citing a lack of revenue.

Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Finally, the Boca Raton-based company announced it’s closing two of its hospitals, including one in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where around 400 staff members are expected to lose their jobs. The hospital saw its last patient on May 27th. The other facility is in Pennsylvania, where around 365 workers will be out of work starting this month.

Healthcare is a business, after all, at least in the US. Companies need to find ways to make up for lost revenue by any means necessary. No one wants to be in the red, and sadly, that means thousands of healthcare workers are about to be out of a job.

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