GALLIPOLIS – Holzer Health System is reducing its workforce.
Officials on Monday said a planned “reduction in force” will eliminate about 100 jobs throughout its various locations in southern Ohio and western West Virginia.
Those 100 jobs, Holzer officials said, are mostly in “non-direct patient care positions.”
In a press release sent to the Ohio Valley Publishing, Holzer officials cited the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as a driving force that “resulted in dramatic change in healthcare service delivery models.” They noted that inpatient volumes are shrinking while outpatient services are on the rise.
Holzer officials also said reduced Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements “further complicate the issue.” They said approximately 65 percent of Holzer’s patients are covered by government insurance, adding that a shift in service delivery and funding cuts are “realities for hospitals across the United States.”
“Our entire staff works tirelessly to reduce operational costs and to streamline operations while continuing to provide excellent care to our patients,” Dr. Christopher T. Meyer, Holzer Health System CEO, said. “While these efforts helped us to maintain our not-for-profit community hospital system, unfortunately, it has not been enough to address the sweeping changes in the healthcare environment. This national situation placed us in a regrettable position. We must now take additional action to ensure the long-term financial health and stability of Holzer so that we may continue providing the excellent health care our patients deserve for many years to come.”
Holzer officials said that prior to Monday’s announcement of layoffs the hospital was actively reducing costs by eliminating duplication of services because of a merger in 2012 of Holzer Clinic and Holzer Consolidated Health Systems, divesting excess property holdings and renegotiating supply contracts.
“As is being experienced by health systems throughout the country, inpatient service volumes decreased nearly 15 percent while reimbursement for services continues to decline, and cost of care delivery continues to rise,” wrote Karrie Swain Davison, Holzer communications coordinator, in a press release. “Operational expenses in the most recent fiscal year exceeded revenues by more than $1.2 million, resulting in the unmanageable decline in revenue necessitating a reduction in force.”
Employee notifications began Monday and will continue through Oct. 30.
Holzer officials said they will offer support for the affected employees by providing separation pay and other outplacement services, such as job placement assistance and career support.
“Holzer Health System remains committed to the health and well-being of the residents of southern Ohio and western West Virginia,” Meyer said. “It is the hope of all involved in this difficult decision that the community hospital that (has) provided for the health care needs of the region since 1910 will continue its legacy of excellent patient-centered care for future generations.”