What Hospital Systems Can Take Away From Ford’s Strategic Overhaul

On today’s episode of Gist Healthcare Daily, Kaufman Hall co-founder and Chair Ken Kaufman joins the podcast to discuss his recent blog that examines Ford Motor Company’s decision to stop producing internal-combustion sedans, and talk about whether there are parallels for health system leaders to ponder about whether their traditional strategies are beginning to age out.

OhioHealth to eliminate 637 jobs, its biggest layoff ever

Columbus-based OhioHealth is eliminating 637 jobs, its biggest layoff ever, according to The Columbus Dispatch. The move is part of a plan to engage external partners to provide some services the system currently provides in house. 

Over the next three to five months, the system will eliminate those jobs in information technology and revenue cycle management. Of those, 567 are in information technology. It informed workers of the cuts on July 7.

“We are committed to providing a high-level of support to all associates affected by this change,” Colin Yoder, director of media and public relations at OhioHealth, told Becker’s in a statement. “This includes outplacement support, a job fair specifically for those displaced, temporary salary and benefits continuation after their OhioHealth employment ends and upskill training for those in Information Technology.”

OhioHealth said the IT work will be handled by the professional services company Accenture, and AGS Health will handle the revenue cycle business. 

The layoffs, according to OhioHealth, are intended to improve patient care and services and position the healthcare system for a future where patients rely more on telemedicine and cellphones to obtain their healthcare. 

“This strategy will enable us to secure the skills, technology, expertise and innovation required to deliver a best-in-class, patient-centric, personalized healthcare experience without taking away from investments we are already making at the bedside,” Mr. Yoder said. 

The IT workers will remain on payroll until Jan. 3 and will be given the opportunity for training that could make them eligible for other jobs at the company. The other workers will be laid off Nov. 4. 

7 hospitals laying off workers

Several hospitals are trimming their workforces due to financial and operational challenges, and some are offering affected workers new positions.

1. MetroWest Medical Center in Framingham, Mass., eliminated live interpretation services in April and laid off an undisclosed number of employees, the MetroWest Daily News reported. Hospital leaders said a “minimal number of positions” were eliminated when the hospital ended the services. Workers affected by the layoffs can apply for open positions at the hospital, according to the Daily News

2. Watsonville (Calif.) Community Hospital is preparing to lay off 658 workers, according to a notice filed with the state and shared with Becker’s Hospital Review. The hospital, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in December, expects the layoffs to occur between May 16 and May 23. Healthcare group Pajaro Valley Health Care District was approved by a bankruptcy judge to purchase the hospital in February after no other qualified bids were submitted. The group needs to gather at least $20 million by July to purchase the hospital, Santa Cruz Sentinel reported April 4. 

3. Memorial Hospital at Gulfport (Miss.) laid off its chief medical officer and vice president of system development in April. Regarding the layoffs, Memorial Hospital at Gulfport CEO Kent Nicaud said the hospital is facing financial challenges, such as increased labor costs, and is aiming to return to an organizational structure it had three or four years ago.

4. Toledo, Ohio-based ProMedica’s health plan, Paramount, is laying off about 200 employees in July after losing a Medicaid contract. Anthem acquired Paramount’s Medicaid contract, and ProMedica and Anthem have been working to identify open roles for employees affected by the layoffs.

5. MarinHealth Medical Center laid off 104 revenue cycle and supply chain employees in April after entering into a contract with Optum to provide those services, according to a notice filed with state regulators in February. Greenbrae, Calif.-based MarinHealth said that as a result of the contract with Optum, all non-contractual revenue cycle and supply chain employees were terminated from employment with the hospital on April 9. Optum offered jobs to most workers affected by the layoffs. Employees who accepted an offer began employment with Optum on the first work day following separation from MarinHealth, a spokesperson for the hospital told Becker’s Hospital Review. 

6. St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach, Fla., laid off 49 employees, including 21 registered nurses, when it stopped providing mental health services in April, according to a notice filed with state regulators.

7. NYC Test & Trace Corps, the city’s initiative for COVID-19 testing and contact tracing, ended universal contact tracing in April. NYC Health + Hospitals, which led the program in collaboration with the city’s department of health and other agencies, is planning to lay off 874 workers as a result of the program scaling back, according to a notice filed with state regulators March 4. The health system said affected temporary employees would be laid off at the end of April. Managerial employees affected by the layoffs will have their employment terminated between May 13 and May 27, according to the notice.