12 hospitals, health systems cutting jobs

Several hospitals and health systems are trimming their workforces or jobs due to financial and operational challenges. 

Below are workforce reduction efforts or job eliminations that were announced within the past two months and/or take effect over the next month. 

1. West Reading, Pa.-based Tower Health on Nov. 16 laid off 52 corporate employees as the health system shrinks from six hospitals to four. The layoffs, which are expected to save $15 million a year, account for 13 percent of Tower Health’s corporate management staff.

2. New York City-based Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center will lay off 3 percent of its workforce by mid-January 2023. 

3. Fayetteville, N.C.-based Cape Fear Valley Health is eliminating 200 positions. The decision affects 42 employees in non-direct patient care positions. The other 158 positions were unfilled positions. Employees were informed of the changes Oct. 27. 

4. Sioux Falls, S.D.-based Sanford Health announced layoffs affecting an undisclosed number of staff on Oct. 19, a decision its CEO said was made “to streamline leadership structure and simplify operations” in certain areas. The layoffs primarily affect nonclinical areas.

5. University Hospitals announced efforts to reduce system expenses by $100 million Oct. 12, including the elimination of 326 vacant jobs and layoffs affecting 117 administrative employees. None of the employees affected by job cuts or layoffs provide direct patient care. The workforce reduction comes as the 21-hospital system faces a net operating loss of $184.6 million from the first eight months of 2022. 

6. Ascension is closing Ascension St. Vincent Dunn, a critical access hospital in Bedford, Ind., and nine medical practices in December, a move that will affect 133 employees. Affected employees who do not secure another position within the health system will be offered severance and outplacement services.

7. Quincy, Ill.-based Blessing Health System closed its hospital in Keokuk, Iowa, Sept. 30. The closure affected 151 workers. The layoffs take effect Nov. 4. The employees will do on-site work or be placed on administrative leave until the layoff date, Blessing Health said.

8. St. Vincent Charity Medical Center in Cleveland will lay off 978 workers when it ends many services in November. The hospital, part of Sisters of Charity Health System, is ending inpatient care and most other services in November. After the transition, the facility will offer outpatient behavioral health, urgent care and primary care.

9. Commonwealth Health, part of Franklin, Tenn.-based Community Health Systems, will lay off 245 employees when it closes facilities at the end of October. The health system is closing First Hospital, a psychiatric hospital in Kingston, Pa., and its various outpatient centers on Oct. 30. Affected workers are encouraged to apply for open positions they’re qualified for at other Commonwealth Health facilities, a system spokesperson told Becker’s.

10. Yale New Haven (Conn.) Health eliminated 155 management positions from its nearly 30,000-person workforce. The health system laid off 72 employees and eliminated 83 vacant positions, a spokesperson told Becker’s Hospital Review in September. The cuts were attributed to financial pressures.

11. Citing financial pressures, BHSH System — now named Corewell Health — cut about 400 positions from its 64,000-member workforce in September. The 22-hospital organization was formed by the February merger of Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Spectrum Health with Southfield, Mich.-based Beaumont Health.

12. Bakersfield (Calif.) Heart Hospital is laying off 114 employees. Affected employees were told in September that they no longer had to report to work, but they will continue to receive full pay and benefits through Nov. 5. The layoffs are an effort to optimize operations and to free up resources for patient care and specialized surgery, the hospital said. 

10 hospitals, health systems cutting jobs

Several hospitals and health systems are trimming their workforces or jobs due to financial and operational challenges. 

Below are workforce reduction efforts or job eliminations that were announced within the past month and/or take effect over the next month. 

1. Fayetteville, N.C.-based Cape Fear Valley Health is eliminating 200 positions. The decision affects 42 employees in non-direct patient care positions. The other 158 positions were unfilled positions. Employees were informed of the changes Oct. 27. 

2. Sioux Falls, S.D.-based Sanford Health announced layoffs affecting an undisclosed number of staff on Oct. 19, a decision its CEO said was made “to streamline leadership structure and simplify operations” in certain areas. The layoffs primarily affect nonclinical areas.

3. University Hospitals announced efforts to reduce system expenses by $100 million Oct. 12, including the elimination of 326 vacant jobs and layoffs affecting 117 administrative employees. None of the employees affected by job cuts or layoffs provide direct patient care. The workforce reduction comes as the 21-hospital system faces a net operating loss of $184.6 million from the first eight months of 2022. 

4. Ascension is closing Ascension St. Vincent Dunn, a critical access hospital in Bedford, Ind., and nine medical practices in December, a move that will affect 133 employees. Affected employees who do not secure another position within the health system will be offered severance and outplacement services.

5. Quincy, Ill.-based Blessing Health System closed its hospital in Keokuk, Iowa, Sept. 30. The closure affected 151 workers. The layoffs take effect Nov. 4. The employees will do on-site work or be placed on administrative leave until the layoff date, Blessing Health said.

6. St. Vincent Charity Medical Center in Cleveland will lay off 978 workers when it ends many services in November. The hospital, part of Sisters of Charity Health System, is ending inpatient care and most other services in November. After the transition, the facility will offer outpatient behavioral health, urgent care and primary care.

7. Commonwealth Health, part of Franklin, Tenn.-based Community Health Systems, will lay off 245 employees when it closes facilities at the end of October. The health system is closing First Hospital, a psychiatric hospital in Kingston, Pa., and its various outpatient centers on Oct. 30. Affected workers are encouraged to apply for open positions they’re qualified for at other Commonwealth Health facilities, a system spokesperson told Becker’s.

8. Yale New Haven (Conn.) Health eliminated 155 management positions from its nearly 30,000-person workforce. The health system laid off 72 employees and eliminated 83 vacant positions, a spokesperson told Becker’s Hospital Review in September. The cuts were attributed to financial pressures.

9. Citing financial pressures, BHSH System — now named Corewell Health — cut about 400 positions from its 64,000-member workforce in September. The 22-hospital organization was formed by the February merger of Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Spectrum Health with Southfield, Mich.-based Beaumont Health.

10. Bakersfield (Calif.) Heart Hospital is laying off 114 employees. Affected employees were told in September that they no longer had to report to work, but they will continue to receive full pay and benefits through Nov. 5. The layoffs are an effort to optimize operations and to free up resources for patient care and specialized surgery, the hospital said. 

A rough year so far for health system finances

https://mailchi.mp/b1e0aa55afe5/the-weekly-gist-october-7-2022?e=d1e747d2d8

As everyone in our industry knows, sluggish volumes amid persistently rising costs, especially for labor, have sent health system margins into a downward spiral across 2022. Using the latest data from consultancy Kaufman Hall, the graphic above shows that by the end of this year, employed labor expenses will have increased more than all non-labor costs combined. 

While contract labor usage, namely travel nursing, is declining, the constant battle for nursing talent means travel nurses are still a significant expense at many hospitals. Through the first six months of this year, over half of hospitals reported a negative operating margin, and the median hospital operating margin has dropped over 100 percent from 2019. 

Larger health systems are not faring better: all five of the large, multi-regional, not-for-profit systems we’ve highlighted below saw their operating margins tumble this year, with drops ranging from three points (Kaiser Permanente) to nearly seven points (CommonSpirit Health and Providence). 

While these unfavorable cost trends have been building throughout COVID, health systems now have neither federal relief nor returns from a thriving stock market to help stabilize their deteriorating financial outlooks. 

Health system boards will tolerate negative margins in the short-term (especially given that many have months’ worth of days cash on hand), but if this situation persists into 2023, pressure for service cuts, layoffs, and restructuring will mount quickly. 

Is a ‘white-collar’ recession coming?

The jobs of young professionals in several white-collar industries are particularly vulnerable as companies scale back hiring plans, pull job listings and lay off workers. 

Sixty-five percent of employers see a recession coming and many are taking steps to prepare, according to a survey by Principal Financial Group. If there is a recession, white-collar industries are likely the most vulnerable, said William Lee, PhD, chief economist at the Milken Institute, according to Bloomberg

“The entry-level white-collar guy is going to have to watch out. That’s going to be the surprise in this downturn,” Dr. Lee said, according to Newsweek

A Challenger, Gray and Christmas survey revealed companies are preparing for a recession by reducing business travel, laying off staff and implementing hiring freezes.

Many industries, including technology, banking and business services, have staffing numbers that are far above pre-pandemic levels, and the layoffs have already begun, according to Bloomberg. Social media platform Snap, Netflix and Re/Max Holdings are a few of the companies that have recently announced staff reductions. 

Read the full Bloomberg article here

Read the full Newsweek article here.

Ohio hospital to lay off 978 employees

St. Vincent Charity Medical Center in Cleveland will lay off 978 workers when it ends many services in November, according to a notice filed with state regulators. 

The hospital, part of Sisters of Charity Health System, is ending inpatient care and most other services in November. After the transition, the facility will offer outpatient behavioral health, urgent care and primary care. 

The health system attributed the changes to several factors, including the rise in demand for outpatient care, declining inpatient volume and shifts in the healthcare industry over the last 10 years that have made it challenging to continue operating St. Vincent Charity Medical Center as an acute care hospital. 

The changes will result in 978 employees being laid off on Nov. 15, according to the notice filed with state regulators. 

“This extremely difficult decision is being made with deep respect and gratitude for our caregivers, and we regret the direct impact this decision will have on those individuals,” reads the layoff notice from the hospital. “Unfortunately, the COVID pandemic, the changing health care landscape, and declining inpatient volumes have led to significant financial challenges that became impossible to overcome.” 

The layoffs will affect 446 full-time workers, 264 part-time employees and 268 workers who are called into work as needed, a spokesperson for Sisters of Charity Health System told Becker’s Hospital Review