Memorial Medical Center in Johnstown laid off 47 employees yesterday, blaming the weak economy for the job cuts. The 47 employees make up about 1 percent of the hospital’s 3,700 person staff. The layoffs consist primarily of support positions and do not include hospital nursing staff.
The affected employees have been offered generous severance packages and will be provided with career counseling and job placement assistance with some of the employees being offered internal job opportunities.
Memorial Medical President Steve Tucker says through a press release, “Careful planning went into this process and our goal was to maintain as many jobs as possible while meeting our fiscal responsibilities in this unprecedented economic environment.”
On a statewide scale, many hospitals are feeling similar effects from the economic downturn. 50 percent of Pennsylvania hospitals have reported a moderate to significant decrease in admissions, particularly elective procedures.
Similarly, hospitals across the state have also reported a moderate to significant increase in patients without insurance. Conemaugh Health System provides over $34 million in uncompensated care each year, in addition to over $2 million in charity care.
This could lead to other cost-cutting measures for Memorial Medical Center including adjustments to employee benefit packages and a possible salary-based tiered health care program sources say.
“These are really challenging times,” adds Tucker, “and this current national economic challenge does not change our commitment to continue to grow and excel!”
Historically, hospitals have depended on profit from investments to offset a decline in income. However, 83 percent of PA hospitals have seen an investment decline.