Author Topic: A job engine sputters as hospitals cut staff  (Read 551 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Cincinnatus

  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 5,514
A job engine sputters as hospitals cut staff
« on: October 13, 2013, 07:34:17 PM »
Not exactly welcome news on the eve of ObamaCare.

Quote
Hospitals, a reliable source of employment growth in the recession and its aftermath, are starting to cut thousands of jobs amid falling insurance payments and in-patient visits.

The payroll cuts are surprising because the Affordable Care Act (ACA), whose implementation took a big step forward this month, is eventually expected to provide health coverage to as many as 30 million additional Americans.

"While the rest of the U.S. economy is stabilizing or improving, health care is entering into a recession," says John Howser, assistant vice chancellor of Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Health care providers announced more layoffs than any other industry last month — 8,128 — largely because of reductions by hospitals, according to outplacement firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas. So far this year, the health care sector has announced 41,085 layoffs, the third-most behind financial and industrial companies.

Total private hospital employment is still up by 36,000 over the past 12 months, but it's down by 8,000 since April and more staff reductions are expected into next year.

This month, Indiana University Health laid off about 900 workers as part of a move to trim its budget by $1 billion over five years. Vanderbilt plans to eliminate 1,000 jobs by year-end to help shave operating costs 8% a year. And the Cleveland Clinic is offering buyouts to 3,000 employees as it shaves its annual operating costs by $330 million.

"This is a challenging time for the health care industry," says Jim Terwilliger, president of two of Indiana health's hospitals. "The pace of change is far greater than anytime in recent history."

There are myriad reasons for the cuts, which are affecting administrative staff as well as nurses and doctors:

• Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance companies are all reducing reimbursement to hospitals. The federal budget cuts known as sequestration have cut Medicare reimbursement by 2%, the American Hospital Association says.

• The health care law has further reduced the Medicare payments to hospitals that provide lower-quality service or have high readmission rates.

• The National Institutes of Health reduced funding to hospitals by 5% as part of sequestration, forcing hospitals to trim research staff.

• The number of inpatient hospital days fell 4% from 2007 to 2011, in part because of the economic downturn, the hospital association says.

• As more Baby Boomers turn 65, their services will be reimbursed at Medicare rates that are lower than those of private payers, putting further pressure on hospital revenue.

The new health care law was supposed to ease the burden on hospitals by expanding Medicaid coverage to more low-income Americans, who often use hospital services in emergencies then don't pay their bills. But 26 states, including Tennessee, rejected ACA's offer of federal funding to expand Medicaid. That decision led to about a third of the job cuts by Nashville-based Vanderbilt, Howser says.

Still, J.P. Fingado, CEO of API Healthcare, a consulting firm for hospitals, says the layoffs are shortsighted because the providers likely will have to add staff as soon as next year to handle increased patient volumes resulting from the health care law.

"The cuts are a particularly short-term reaction," he says.


http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2013/10/13/hospital-job-cuts/2947929/
We shall never be abandoned by Heaven while we act worthy of its aid ~~ Samuel Adams

Offline Olivia

  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 968
Re: A job engine sputters as hospitals cut staff
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2013, 07:44:27 PM »
We've probably seen nothing yet!  I read horrid news story from the UK about the hospitals there.  It's scary what happens when you have government run care and especially for our seniors.
Truthfully, the most important thing in life is knowing what the most important things in life are, and prioritizing them accordingly.   Melchor Lim

Online jmyrlefuller

  • J. Myrle Fuller
  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 12,301
  • There's no one out there quite like me.
    • Fullervision
Re: A job engine sputters as hospitals cut staff
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2013, 08:17:22 PM »
Quote
Still, J.P. Fingado, CEO of API Healthcare, a consulting firm for hospitals, says the layoffs are shortsighted because the providers likely will have to add staff as soon as next year to handle increased patient volumes resulting from the health care law.
Given how difficult it has been to actually get any insurance worth having as part of this bill, any "increased patient volume" is probably not going to materialize. All this law is going to do is increase taxes on those who can least afford it and take hard-earned money out of the hands of people who need it to make ends meet.
"Just because people in positions of authority are stupid, it doesn’t mean you have to go along with it." —Arlo Guthrie

Online Oceander

  • Technical
  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 44,025
  • #ToldYouSo
Re: A job engine sputters as hospitals cut staff
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2013, 12:15:09 AM »
My take on this is that this is the way that hospitals - like every other business in the US - is dealing with the Obamacare commandments: laying off current full-time staff who have benefits galore, including health insurance, who will be replaced with part-timers when this short-term drop in hospital receipts ends, part timers who will be working less than 30 hours a week - the hospitals will be hiring 1 1/2 part timers to replace every full timer who's been fired - and who will not get any health insurance benefits because they're working less than 30 hours a week.  Not only that, but they won't be getting any of the retirement benefits the full timers are currently getting, either.

In other words, it's not a short-sighted response to a temporary recession, it's a rather shrewd use of the opportunities afforded by a temporary recession to engage in the wholesale replacement of full timers with part timers without endangering the running of the hospitals because the current staff needs are low enough that the hospitals can do without a significant number of their current employees while they hire and train their part time replacements.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2013, 12:17:11 AM by Oceander »

Offline Rapunzel

  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 71,719
Re: A job engine sputters as hospitals cut staff
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2013, 12:16:49 AM »
Hospitals are all under a LOT of pressure now.  Better pray you don't get sick.  One interesting thing, CMS has people (not doctors) following doctors around in the hospitals looking over their shoulders at what they are doing.
“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves.” G Washington July 2, 1776


Share me

Digg  Facebook  SlashDot  Delicious  Technorati  Twitter  Google  Yahoo
Smf