States Report Healthcare Layoffs, Reductions Due to Federal Cuts

Source: Debra Wood, Healthcare News, April 7, 2014

Industry experts have warned about healthcare layoffs, often considered a recession-proof field. Now some data exists as to what has happened in Pennsylvania and Missouri, and experts in those states weigh in on what must change to prevent more cuts in employment and services.

The Hospital & Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP), in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, surveyed hospitals in the state and found they had shed 3,900 jobs in the past year, from February 2013 until February 2014. HAP’s survey of general acute care hospitals indicated 67 percent of hospitals have already frozen hiring or plan to do so. Forty-nine percent plan to lay off current staff, 51 percent plan to delay needed renovation or building projects, and 41 percent anticipate cutting healthcare services…..

….The Missouri Hospital Association (MHA), in collaboration with the Missouri Chamber of Commerce, surveyed the state’s hospitals and found 998 full-time equivalent positions were lost during the last six months, 2,145 positions are either currently or prospectively affected by a hiring freeze and $100 million worth of building improvement projects have been delayed or cancelled. The association said the reductions are in response to federal funding cuts, high uncompensated care costs and changing utilization patterns…..