- Hallmark Health is planning further staff cuts and consolidation of some services to help offset an anticipated $16 million operating loss this fiscal year, Boston Business Journal reported.
- Lawrence Memorial Hospital in Medford, Mass., will lose 65 employees and all of its medical/surgical beds and intensive care beds — roughly half of total inpatient beds. Surgery and ICU patients will be moved to Melrose-Wakefield Hospital.
- Elsewhere in Massachusetts, Cape Cod Healthcare will let go of 55 employees in the wake of Quest Diagnostics’ acquisition of its outreach lab services business, Becker’s Hospital Review reported.
Hallmark Health’s plight is a familiar one for hospitals and health systems struggling to adapt to lower inpatient reimbursement rates and risk-based models of care delivery.
During the past 12 months, Lawrence has averaged just two patients a day in ICU and 17 in the med/surgery ward. Hallmark Health, which operates 10 hospitals and health centers in the Bay State, laid off 57 employees last November.
The past week has seen a slew of layoffs and belt-tightening moves by health systems. On Monday, Summa Health announced plans to eliminate 300 positions and reduce services in the face of operating losses expected to reach $60 million this year. Low inpatient and outpatient numbers are to blame, the health system said.
Then on Tuesday, Houston-based Memorial Hermann Health System announced plans to lay off 350 employees in the wake of regulatory uncertainty, rising costs, declining payments and a weak local economy. The 25,000-employee system cut 112 positions in January.
Also Tuesday, CHI St. Luke’s Health CEO Michael Covert announced he will step down at the end of August. His departure comes as parent company Catholic Health Initiatives is also feeling financial pressures. Since, 2014, the hospital operator has eliminated 1,200 of a planned 1,500 positions nationwide. CHI has reported a $483 million operating loss for fiscal year 2016 due to shrinking volumes, rising labor and pharmacy costs, and lower Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement.