- Aberdeen, Wash.-based Grays Harbor Community Hospital has laid off 24% of its leadership in a restructuring move aimed at shoring up its financials.
- The positions — including chief operating officer, chief financial officer and cultural change leader — will remain open for now. No service lines or patient care departments will be affected by the change, the hospital said.
- In January, Grays Harbor laid off 21 employees after subcontracting billing services, according to Becker’s Hospital Review. That followed elimination of seven health information management jobs last fall.
The 140-bed hospital, with a payer mix that is 80% Medicare/Medicaid, lost $8.2 million in 2017.
The layoffs, which are expected to save $1.25 million, were made after a concentrated evaluation with Navigant. The consulting firm was brought in to assess productivity after the hospital “tripped bond covenants by being below the 60 days cash on hand required by our bank,” spokeswoman Nancee Long told Healthcare Dive. Navigant is helping to streamline all areas of the hospital, she added.
Grays Harbor is taking additional steps to right its ship, including writing a bill to the state legislature that would allow it to receive 150% of Medicare reimbursement on primary care. While the bill failed this year, the state included a budget provision allowing those funds — about $3.5 million to $4 million — to be collected for one year.
The hospital has also altered its patient counts, assigning 49 for inpatient care and opening the remainder for observation. And it changed its clinics to rural health clinics, enabling cost-based reimbursement on Medicare primary care.
Officials stressed that the cuts are due to poor financials and not under-performing employees.
Grays Harbor joins a number of hospitals that are trimming their workforce under financial pressures fueled by reimbursement cuts and declining volumes. In 2010, U.S. hospital admissions totaled 36.9 million, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. By 2013, admissions had fallen by 1.5 million, and admissions totaled 35 million patients in 2015.
For example, Tenet Healthcare last October announced it was restructuring and would eliminate some regional management positions in the wake of declining admissions. The company, which operates 69 hospitals, cited a 4.5% drop in patient admissions in the first six months of last year.