Sutter Health to lay off 400 workers

Sutter Health fined again over not notifying nurses about COVID-19 exposure

As part of a financial restructuring plan, Sacramento, Calif.-based Sutter Health will issue another round of layoffs this year, according to the Sacramento Business Journal.  

The health system said it plans to lay off 400 more employees. These newly announced layoffs are in addition to 277 information technology jobs that were cut April 2. 

Sutter said most of the new layoffs affect employees in administrative positions in benefits, human resources, data services and accounting. The layoff notice said many of these employees were working remotely or in the field. 

Sutter told the Business Journal that it’s working to evaluate every aspect of its business model.

“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,” Sutter told the Business Journal.

Sutter ended 2020 with a $321 million operating loss, including $800M in funding from the Coronavirus, Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act. Without the funding, Sutter’s operating loss would have been $1.1 billion. As a result, Sutter initiated a sweeping review of its finances in March 2021. 

Sutter Health also gave voluntary severance packages to 800 workers in 2020.

CommonSpirit and Essentia call off 14-hospital deal following nurse complaints

Dive Brief:

  • CommonSpirit Health and Essentia Health have called off a deal for Essentia to acquire 14 CommonSpirit facilities in North Dakota and Minnesota, the two Catholic systems announced Tuesday.
  • The deal, nixed just four months after being announced, would have doubled the size of Duluth, Minn.-based Essentia’s hospital network. One of the facilities up for grabs, CHI St. Alexius Medical Center, is a tertiary hospital and the other 13 are critical access hospitals. The deal would also have included associated clinics and living communities.
  • The systems did not provide details as to why they scrapped the deal in their release, and an Essentia representative did not respond to a request for comment by time of publication.

Dive Insight:

CommonSpirit and Essentia signed a letter of intent in January to explore the sale, but talks have now fizzled following months of deliberation.

“While we share a similar mission, vision, values and strong commitment to sustainable rural healthcare, CommonSpirit and Essentia were unable to come to an agreement that would serve the best interests of both organizations, the people we employ and the patients we serve,” a joint statement from the two systems said.

Earlier this month, more than 700 nurses and medical workers filed a petition noting their concern over the deal. In the petition, the Minnesota Nurses Association and employees at Essentia and CommonSpirit said they feared layoffs and restricted access to patient care resulting from the acquisition.

Nurses cited Essentia’s partnership with Mercy Hospital in Moose Lake, Minn., last summer, which they claimed hurt the quality of patient care.

“Ever since the takeover, we’ve lost numerous staff, causing shortages in how we care for patients,” a nurse wrote in a news release about the petition May 4. “We don’t want CHI’s hospitals and clinics to lay off workers, cut the services they offer or close entirely.”

Essentia did not respond to a request for comment about whether workers’ concerns affected the decision to call off the deal.

Hospitals maintain consolidation betters the patient experience and improves care quality, but numerous studies have suggested that’s not the case. One from early last year published in the New England Journal of Medicine found acquired hospitals actually saw moderately worse patient experience, along with no change in 30-day mortality or readmission rates, while another from 2019 found mergers and acquisitions drive up prices for consumers.

Despite that, provider mergers and acquisitions have continued at a rapid clip even during COVID-19, as hospitals look to divest underperforming assets and bulk up market share in more lucrative geographies. The letter of intent CommonSpirit signed with Essentia suggests the roughly 140-hospital system is taking stock of its smaller rural facilities.

Chicago-based CommonSpirit was formed in 2019 by the merger of nonprofit giants Catholic Health Initiatives and Dignity Health. The nonprofit giant was hit hard by the pandemic, losing $550 million in the 2020 fiscal year.

Ascension’s technology business to lay off 651 employees

Layoffs hitting more white collar jobs — and even health care workers

Ascension Technologies, the IT subsidiary of St. Louis-based Ascension, plans to lay off an estimated 651 remote workers this year, according to an April 30 St. Louis Post-Dispatch report. 

Ascension Technologies said it will begin working with a third party to take on the tech support for EHR and revenue cycle management responsibilities its employees had been performing, the company said in an April 27 notice it filed with the state. 

None of the employees affected by the layoffs are based in Missouri, but all the positions report to an office in St. Louis. Ascension Technologies plans to facilitate the layoffs between Aug. 8 and Dec. 10. 

Ascension Technologies employees affected by the layoffs can apply for other positions within the company or with the new vendor. Ascension will also provide severance and outplacement services to employees who are unable to get another job with the company.

9 hospitals laying off workers

Unprecedented Layoffs among Nonprofits Threaten Deep Community Damage - Non  Profit News | Nonprofit Quarterly

The financial challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic forced hundreds of hospitals across the nation to furlough, lay off or reduce pay for workers, and others have had to scale back services or close.

Lower patient volume, canceled elective procedures and higher expenses tied to the pandemic have created a cash crunch for hospitals, and hospitals are taking a number of steps to offset financial damage. Executives, clinicians and other staff are taking pay cuts, capital projects are being put on hold, and some employees are losing their jobs. More than 260 hospitals and health systems furloughed workers in the last year, and dozens of others have implemented layoffs.

Below are nine hospitals and health systems that are laying off employees. Some of the layoffs were attributed to financial strain caused by the pandemic. 

1. Boca Raton, Fla.-based Cancer Treatment Centers of America is selling its hospital in Philadelphia and will lay off the facility’s 365 employees, according to a closure notice filed with the state. Cancer Treatment Centers of America said it anticipates the layoffs in Philadelphia will begin after May 30, according to the Philadelphia Business Journal

2. Providence Queen of the Valley Medical Center in Napa, Calif., will lay off 10 employees, The Napa Valley Register reported April 11. The layoffs will affect six emergency department technicians and four cooks. The COVID-19 pandemic had a “profound effect” on the hospital system, including volume and revenue reductions, a Providence spokesperson told The Napa Valley Register. As a result of volume declines in its ED, the health system is reducing staffing. 

3. Olympia Medical Center in Los Angeles closed March 31. The closure resulted in the layoffs of 451 employees.

4. The outgoing owners of Providence Behavioral Health Hospital in Holyoke, Mass., are laying off the hospital’s 151 employees, effective April 20, according to MassLive. Trinity Health of New England, part of Livonia, Mich.-based Trinity Health, is selling the hospital to Health Partners New England, which plans to take over the hospital April 20. 

5. Boca Raton, Fla.-based Cancer Treatment Centers of America plans to close its hospital in Tulsa, Okla., June. 1. About 400 employees will be affected by the closure. 

6. Plattsburgh, N.Y.-based Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital plans to cut 60 jobs. The hospital, which is facing a $6.5 million deficit in fiscal year 2021, said the cuts include 10 people who were laid off or had permanent hour reductions, 12 people who are planning retirement, and the rest are open positions that will not be filled, according to a March 9 NBC 5 report. 

7. Buffalo, N.Y.-based Catholic Health announced March 19 that it plans to end inpatient services and close the intensive care unit at its St. Joseph campus in Cheektowaga, N.Y. The changes will result in some positions being eliminated. Catholic Health said it will try to find affected employees comparable positions within the system. 

8. Upper Allegheny Health System, a two-hospital system based in Olean, N.Y., plans to reduce acute care and surgical services at Bradford (Pa.) Regional Medical Center. Under the plan, the acute care and surgical services will be moved to the health system’s other hospital, Olean General Hospital, effective May 1. There will be a minimal number of layoffs resulting from the consolidation of services, a spokesperson told WHYY. 

9. Philadelphia-based Tower Health laid off 15 workers at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, including four physicians, in March, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer. Tower Health ended the second half of last year with an operating loss of $31 million, according to the report.  

Pennsylvania cancer hospital to lay off 365 workers

Cancer Treatment Centers of America®, Philadelphia PA | CTCA

Cancer Treatment Centers of America is selling its hospital in Philadelphia and will lay off the facility’s 365 employees, according to a closure notice filed with the state.

Boca Raton, Fla.-based Cancer Treatment Centers of America signed an agreement in March to sell the hospital to Philadelphia-based Temple University Hospital. The deal requires approval from the Pennsylvania Department of Health. 

In the notice filed with the state, Cancer Treatment Centers of America said some displaced Philadelphia workers may be offered jobs at affiliated entities outside of Pennsylvania, according to the Philadelphia Business Journal. The company’s other hospitals are in Chicago, Atlanta, Phoenix and Tulsa, Okla. In March, the company announced it will close its hospital in Tulsa June 1. 

Cancer Treatment Centers of America said it anticipates the layoffs in Philadelphia will begin after May 30, according to the Philadelphia Business Journal

Temple Health CEO Michael Young told the Philadelphia Business Journal that the system wants to hire as many CTCA workers as possible if the deal is finalized. 

6 hospitals laying off workers

China Employee Layoff Laws

The financial challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic forced hundreds of hospitals across the nation to furlough, lay off or reduce pay for workers, and others have had to scale back services or close.

Lower patient volume, canceled elective procedures and higher expenses tied to the pandemic have created a cash crunch for hospitals, and hospitals are taking a number of steps to offset financial damage. Executives, clinicians and other staff are taking pay cuts, capital projects are being put on hold, and some employees are losing their jobs. More than 260 hospitals and health systems furloughed workers in the last year, and dozens of others have implemented layoffs.

Below are six hospitals and health systems that are laying off employees in the next 2 months. Some of the layoffs were attributed to financial strain caused by the pandemic. 

1. Sacramento, Calif.-based Sutter Health is laying off hundreds of employees, most of whom work in information technology. In a filing with the state, Sutter said it plans to lay off 277 employees on April 2. The 277 jobs being eliminated include 92 analysts, 43 engineers and 28 project managers, according to the Sacramento Business Journal, citing the system’s filing with California’s Employment Development Department. 

2. Plattsburgh, N.Y.-based Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital plans to cut 60 jobs. The hospital, which is facing a $6.5 million deficit in fiscal year 2021, said the cuts include 10 people who were laid off or had permanent hour reductions, 12 people who are planning retirement, and the rest are open positions that will not be filled. 

3. Hialeah (Fla.) Hospital is closing its maternity ward and laying off 62 employees April 5, according to a notice filed with the state. Most of those affected by the layoffs are registered nurses.

4. The outgoing owners of Providence Behavioral Health Hospital in Holyoke, Mass., are laying off the hospital’s 151 employees, effective April 20, according to MassLive. Trinity Health of New England, part of Livonia, Mich.-based Trinity Health,  is selling the hospital to Health Partners New England, which plans to take over the hospital April 20. 

5. Olympia Medical Center in Los Angeles is slated to close March 31. The closure will result in the layoffs of about 450 employees.

6. Minneapolis-based Children’s Minnesota is laying off 150 employees, or about 3 percent of its workforce. Children’s Minnesota cited several reasons for the layoffs, including the financial hit from the COVID-19 pandemic. Some layoffs occured in December and the rest will occur at the end of March. 

Baylor Scott & White to cut, outsource 1,700 jobs

Baylor Scott & White Health To Outsource, Eliminate 1,700 Positions – CBS  Dallas / Fort Worth

Dallas-based Baylor Scott & White Health will outsource, lay off or retrain 1,700 employees who work in information technology, billing, revenue cycle management and other support services, according to The Dallas Morning News

The health system said outsourcing the finance and IT jobs and other support services will help it improve efficiencies and focus on reducing costs in noncore business areas.

About two-thirds of the 1,700 employees will be joining third-party RCM, IT, billing or support staff vendors.
About 600 to 650 positions will be eliminated. 

Baylor Scott & White said that employees whose positions are being eliminated will be invited to participate in retraining programs. 

The retraining program would allow the employees to remain employed at the health system and receive the same pay or higher, depending on their role, according to the report. Some of the retraining programs that will be available are learning to become a certified medical assistant or learning a job in patient support services.

“In no case — in no case — is anyone going to miss a paycheck,” Baylor Scott & White CEO Jim Hinton, told The Dallas Morning News. “We can afford to make these commitments, and we want to do the right thing for the great employees of Baylor, Scott & White. They’ve really done everything we’ve asked and more during this last year.”

This is the third time Baylor Scott & White has announced cost-cutting initiatives related to its workforce since the pandemic began. Last May, 930 Baylor Scott & White employees were laid off, and in December the health system said it would lay off employees and outsource 102 corporate finance jobs. 

Mr. Hinton said that Baylor Scott & White has 2,000 clinical positions open, and it is investing in a new regional medical school campus and a joint venture to improve care for the underinsured. 

“This is a transition to a new business model, a transition to a new way of working,” Mr. Hinton told The Dallas Morning News.