Here’s the update for this month and they are getting bigger unfortunately. In June 2008 more than half of all the hospitals in the state of California reported they were operating in the red and now we are into the second quarter of 2009. Also in the summary below, Shriners may end up closing 5 of their Children’s Hospitals. Tenet is busy selling and merging hospitals. California brought out the celebrities with our governor as well.
Below my monthly round up, there are a couple of online documents sent to me my readers that have additional details. The documents are small as embedded so you can either use the plus sign or click on the links to read the entire documents. They are public documents so you can feel free to use and repost if you like.
One additional post worth reading is the situation in Texas where the physicians were told to increase admissions and then were fired for admitting too many when the reports came in, from the Texas Medical Association. Times are difficult enough and that is a battle that should not be happening but again it all relates to lack of money and the economy.
In addition, there’s a website for the hospitals in New York to raise awareness and help the cause of hospitals and they are kind enough to provide me with the details on their state in the document included below.
Here’s the summary for April
New York City’s public hospital system announced Thursday that it was cutting 400 jobs and closing some children’s mental-health programs, pharmacies and community clinics that serve more than 11,000 patients.
Alan D. Aviles, president of the city’s Health and Hospitals Corporation, blamed reductions in state Medicaid reimbursement, a sharp increase in uninsured patients and the rising cost of labor, drugs and medical supplies for the cuts.
He warned that he would probably announce further job and service cuts in a month or two. The hospitals face a looming $316 million budget shortfall for the coming fiscal year, which begins in July, and the current plan would save $105 million.
“This is only the first round; we’re only dealing with one-third of the problem,” he said. “We do anticipate that there will be additional cost-containment measures.”
Citing financial problems, Temple University Health System said yesterday it was closing Northeastern Hospital in the city's Port Richmond section and, with it, yet another of Philadelphia's maternity wards.
After Northeastern closes at the end of June, only six city hospitals will deliver babies. About 1,800 women a year gave birth at Northeastern.
The hospital will "transition" to a multi-specialty ambulatory-care center by July 1, Temple said.
The announcement caused dismay among employees and community leaders, who worry about whether other hospitals can handle the influx of pregnant women and about the closure's economic impact.
It might have a reputation as a growth industry in good times and bad, but that does not mean the health-care sector is immune to the economic troubles affecting other parts of the business world.
In a report to be released today, the Maryland Hospital Association says that income is down and expenses have risen for many of the state's 58 hospitals. The report says 34 hospitals in the state lost a combined $466 million during the last quarter of 2008.
"I do think there's a misperception that things are okay, when in fact they're not," said Carmela Coyle, president of the Maryland Hospital Association.
In Maryland, the gap in operating expenses, the difference between what is spent and what is earned on patient care, narrowed to 1.5 percent in the fourth quarter, from 2.4 percent in the third.
GALVESTON — The University of Texas Medical Branch on Friday asked a judge to stop Shriners Hospital for Children Galveston from locking its doors and imperiling millions of dollars in shared burn research.
UTMB asked Galveston County District Judge Wayne Mallia for a temporary restraining order and an injunction preventing Shriners from padlocking its hospital and its world-renowned burn center by a Tuesday deadline.
Ralph Semb, chairman and CEO of Shriners Hospitals for Children, said he was puzzled by the lawsuit because Shriners was prepared to give UTMB two more weeks to vacate the hospital.
Locking out the UTMB researchers also would imperil the medical school’s ability to apply for some of the $10 billion in National Institutes of Health grants that will be made available under the recently approved federal stimulus package, Anderson said.
SPOKANE, Wash. -- Providence Health Care is planning to trim staff at its Eastern Washington hospitals, but says it hopes to avoid layoffs.
The move is being prompted in part by a growing amount of unpaid medical bills as a result of the recession.
In a memo to staff Friday, Dr. Andrew Agwunobi, chief executive of Providence's regional operations, said the nonprofit health-care system is $9 million behind its budget.
When Grady Memorial Hospital announced earlier this month that it was laying off 140 employees, CEO Michael Young said the hospital needed to save money.
More than 15 directors, managers and supervisors, including the vice president in charge of the cancer and cardiac centers, were laid off. The department that advocated for patients was gutted.
The cancer center and the cardiac unit were not attracting enough new patients, particularly paying patients, Young said. Some cardiac equipment was old and nobody was leading the cry to replace it. Philip Lamson, a hospital vice president in charge of both, is gone.
Roughly 86 more employees are planned to be cut from the Regional Medical Center at Memphis.
Hospital COO Christine Pappas told The Med’s board of directors today that cuts are not linked to the bad economy or to any possible future cuts to government subsidies. The cuts, she said, are part of consultant firm FTI Cambio’s plan to guide the financially struggling hospital back to sustainability.
The time line for the cuts is not clear, Pappas said, and the final number of cuts could still fluctuate.
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center has narrowed its planned layoff figure to 140 - from 600 - after an extensive review of cost-cutting measures that included input from hospital staff.
“We will wait until the last possible moment to issue notices of termination so that we can evaluate the effect of the early retirement and philanthropic initiatives,” Paul Levy, the hospital’s chief executive, said on his blog today.
Levy, who posted an e-mail sent Monday to the Beth Israel community, said the hospital will temporarily freeze its match to employees’ 401(k) plans, withhold a planned 3 percent annual salary increase, reduce a raise already received by directors and managers, and take other measures.
MANKATO (KTTC-DT) -- This is a grim Easter weekend for some 140 full-time employees who are losing their jobs at Immanuel St. Joseph's - Mayo Health System in Mankato.
Immanuel St. Joseph’s — Mayo Health System leadership Friday announced plans to lay off another 100 workers in response to an 18 percent decline in hospitalizations.
Greg Kutcher, president and CEO of Immanuel St. Joseph’s, said the hospital notified workers Friday that layoffs were imminent, although he said they have not decided exactly who will be laid off, nor which or how many of certain positions — such as nurses, doctors, aides, etc. — were at risk.
Under the plan, all staff members' pay will decrease by four percent; directors' — or middle management — pay will decrease five percent and members of senior management will see a 10 percent decrease in pay. Physicians and other health professionals like nurse practitioners employed by Goodall Hospital (about 40 people) will take a five percent pay cut. Stromstad said her salary will be reduced 20 percent.
In addition, the hospital will no longer contribute to employees' pension fund and vacation time for all employees will be reduced by one week. That will not affect vacation time already earned, however. The hospital will no longer reimburse employees for tuition for courses they take.
LITTLE ROCK — Citing the national recession, the chief executive of Little Rock’s St. Vincent Infirmary Medical Center says the hospital could layoff up to 200 workers over the next two months.
St. Vincent CEO Peter Banko said in a letter to hospital executives and staff the cuts in both vacant and filed positions would occur between April and June 1.
The layoffs will follow short-term moves the hospital has made in recent weeks to ease its financial problems, including reducing hourly workers to 36 hours a week and having salaried staff to take three days off during March.
St. John’s Hospital will lay off 38 people — mostly managers — from its 3,000-person work force “to continue to address current economic trends while positioning St. John’s for future growth,” the hospital’s chief executive said Tuesday.
The layoffs, which appear at least partly related to the nationwide recession, are one of several cost-savings steps, according to St. John’s CEO Bob Ritz.
The other initiatives include reducing administrators’ salaries and reducing the number of regularly scheduled work hours “for a limited number of staff,” Ritz said in a news release.
Christ Hospital and Kettering Health Network are back in the running for a possible affiliation with Wilmington’s Clinton Memorial Hospital.
Previously, both organizations had dropped out of talks, leaving TriHealth with the lone active proposal. Clinton Memorial distributed a request for proposals in December seeking a merger.
Making Clinton Memorial suddenly more attractive is “news that a different bank might be willing to refinance the system’s $40 million debt,” wrote Steve Schwalbe, senior vice president at TriHealth, in a memo to TriHealth physician leaders and managers on Wednesday.
The hospital said the amount of charity care and bad debt from people not paying their bills has increased by 20 percent over the past year.
"This tremendous economic storm that's surrounding all of us is ending up at the doorstep of the hospitals," said Steve Ahnen, president of the New Hampshire Hospital Association.
The hospital this week laid off 24 full- and part-time workers and cut hours for another 104 workers. It also froze merit increases.
The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia announced nearly 50 positions will be reduced or eliminated Thursday.
Officials said affected workers were notified on March 19 that some positions will either see a reduction in hours or be eliminated completely.
"We are not immune to the economic challenges all Americans are facing," said Steven M. Altschuler, M.D., President and CEO, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. "The decision to eliminate each (position) was painful but necessary to allow us to increase efficiency and reduce costs while preserving our core mission of research, education, and patient care."
BREMERTON, Wash. -- Leaders of Harrison Medical Center in Bremerton say the economy and some hospital inefficiencies are forcing them to cut an unspecified number of jobs over the next two months.
The Kitsap Sun says the medical center is Kitsap County's largest private employer, with more than 1,900 full-time employees. Word of the layoffs comes from President and CEO Scott Bosch.
Among the jobs being eliminated are the hospital's vice president of service excellence and operations, two executive assistant posts and two other unspecified leadership jobs.
The other Shriners hospitals faced with possible closure include Shreveport, La.; Erie, Penn.; Spokane, Wash. and Springfield, Mass.
WYFF News 4's Mark Allen has learned that the Shriners Board of Trustees has identified five Shriners hospitals nationwide that could cease operation, in addition to keeping one closed that was shut down after Hurricane Ike. WYFF News 4's Mark Allen has learned that the Shriners Board of Trustees has identified five Shriners hospitals nationwide that could cease operation, in addition to keeping one closed that was shut down after Hurricane Ike.
Chemotherapy patients left with nowhere to go, hospital out patient services closed.
"Dear patient, we regret to inform you that the Nevada Cancer Institute will no longer provide contract oncology services at University Medical Center," Sharp read.
Literally overnight, UMC's budget was cut by $21 million. "And we were already scheduled or budgeted to lose $51 million. And so, when you layered on $21 million on top of that, that brought our loss, or anticipated loss, to $72 million," Silver told Pelley.
Officials at Bon Secours Hospital are asking the state for $5 million to keep the struggling hospital afloat for a year while they devise a new strategy to offer health care to a troubled West Baltimore community.
The company and the religious order that oversee Bon Secours have not ordered its closure. But executives say the hospital needs an infusion of cash and a new vision to avoid shutting its doors.
The hospital lost $22 million last year - the largest loss in a decade, according to the state agency that sets the rates that hospitals can charge. But Bon Secours has had problems for many years sustaining a profit in a community where most of its patients are poor, very sick and without insurance.
"If we want to stop the madness, we need to come up with a more effective model that people want to embrace," Ross said. "There is no easy fix."
Hospital and Pharma Details
ELLSWORTH (NEWS CENTER) -- Maine Coast Memorial Hospital announced Wednesday it is laying 14 people off and freezing salaries.
In addition to the layoffs and salary freeze, Tardif said the hospital has asked executives to take a voluntary reduction in compensation, including bonuses, for a year. She added hospital officials are reviewing all vendor contracts.
The organization has nine facilities, including the hospital, four rehab facilities and four healthcare clinics. There are 796 employees in all; Tardif said it is the second largest employer in Hancock County.
Iroquois Memorial Hospital and Resident Home in Watseka recently laid off 18 people — part of dramatic economic effects on hospitals cited in a new report by the Illinois Hospital Association.
In a recent survey of 200 association hospitals, 14 percent responded that they have made moderate staff reductions in the last year and 2 percent significant reductions. For the coming year, 29 percent plan to make moderate reductions; 1 percent significant reductions. Longer delays in payments by Medicaid, Medicare and private insurers were cited as contributing to dramatic economic impacts on the state’s hospitals. Other negative impacts cited are dramatic increases in uninsured patients due to unemployment and in emergency room visits. At the same time, admissions have decreased sharply, plus dramatic decreases in admissions, especially for elective procedures.
St. Joseph Health System, which comprises Eureka's St. Joseph Hospital and Fortuna's Redwood Memorial Hospital, is projecting that it will take a more than $6.5 million hit in the next fiscal year due to a combined increase in uninsured, Medi-Cal and Medicare patients.
Mad River Hospital patients benefit coordinator Theresa Gonzalez said the hospital has seen a 10 to 20 percent increase in uninsured patients since 2007, an increase that's expected to continue and coincides with lost revenue. ”We anticipate an increase in the month ahead due to the number of layoffs,” she said.
In the four months from July to October 2008, St. Joseph Hospital reported an operating income of $2.3 million, according to Hunt-Munther. That number dropped to $900,000 for the five months from November 2008 to March 2009, coinciding with the onslaught of the national recession. (not in the red, yet)
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