- Charleston Area Medical Center (CAMC) Health Systems CEO David Ramsey announced plans to eliminate 300 positions by the end of this year.
- The targeted jobs — disclosed in a YouTube video Wednesday and reported first by the Charleston Gazette-Mail — are tied to several program reductions at the West Virginia health system.
- Like hospitals across the country, CAMC has been struggling with rising costs, lower reimbursement and uncertainty about Affordable Care Act repeal and replacement.
In justifying the move, Ramsey cited the cost of caring for the growing number of patients covered by Medicare, Medicaid and West Virginia’s Pubic Employee Insurance Agency. Commercially insured patients comprise just 17% of CAMC’s volume today, down from 20% in 2012 — a difference that cost the system $50 million a year, he said.
By the end of May, CAMC was on track to lose more than $40 million, Ramsey added.
“Regrettably, there is no end in sight for West Virginia’s economic situation, poor reimbursement from governmental insurance, rising cost of drugs and technology, the nursing shortage and the cost of caring for government-insured patients,” he said in the video.
CAMC also undertook an expensive EHR conversion in 2016.
Fifty-six of the 300 eliminated positions have already been removed via a hiring freeze implemented in January. The system hopes to handle the remaining position cuts through attrition or placing affected employees in open positions.
The restructuring also includes plans to close a heart health program, pulmonary rehab program, commercial pharmacy and childcare and development center as well as realignment of CAMC’s dental and fertility centers with other departments.
Ramsey said the changes are aimed at ensuring a sustainable future. Starting Aug. 1, all CAMC departments and cost centers will be required to maintain 100% productivity.
A number of hospitals have announced layoffs and closures recently. In late May, Walnut Hill Medical Center abruptly ceased operations due to a terminated Medicare provider agreement. That was followed by Crotched Mountain Foundation’s announcement it would shutter Crotched Mountain Specialty Hospital on Aug. 31.
In addition, East Texas Medical Center decided not to renew its lease for ETMC Trinity, signaling that hospital’s likely closure, and MedStar Washington Hospital Center announced plans to lay off 100 employees.