- UPMC is battling sluggish demand for hospital-based services by offering a voluntary severance package to 3,600 of its workers aged 60 and up, or 5.6% of the nonprofit's workforce.
- The buyout includes medical and dental benefits, severance and a one-time cash payment of $15,000. The package has not been offered to executives, physicians, advanced care providers, UMPC health plan workers or union workers.
- The hospital has said that it doesn't have a specific cost-savings benchmark it wants to hit, but that it plans to accept the majority of employees who volunteer for the program.
UPMC's fiscal year ends on June 30, a year that has been marked by slow growth in patient revenue and declining admissions—signs of the times, especially in a market as competitive as Pittsburgh. Regional hospitals have done the same: The Hospital Council of Western Pennsylvania reported a 2% drop in full-time employment, or around 1,200 jobs, in 2014.
Although hospital jobs growth spiked nationally in April—more than 25% of the 45,000 jobs that healthcare added were in hospitals—in general, hospital employment growth is expected to be modest at best, and more concentrated on skilled care providers rather than support staff. "I think we're going to see pockets of layoffs," Jennifer Stewart, managing director of research and insights at the Advisory Board Co., told Modern Healthcare earlier this year.
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