Union Hospital cuts described as ‘support staff’

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – Union Hospital and health systems leaders elaborate on why the decision was made to cut 150 jobs. News 10 first brought word of the job cuts last week.

The CEO’s of Union Hospital, Union Health Services and the UAP Clinic all said this is the toughest decision they’ve ever had to make. But they say changes in the world of providing health care have forced their hand.

At Wednesday’s news conference, Union Health System leaders told News 10 while some of the 150 job cuts have already been made, the process is still ongoing, and more cuts will be coming. They must be made by year’s end. In addition, we can confirm most of the cuts within the Union Health System are in support staff.

“We’ve absolutely tried not to do with anybody that has bedside contact with patients,” said Dr. John Bolinger, Union Hospital’s Chief Medical Officer.

Like all hospitals, the Union Health System is seeing more outpatient procedures. This results in shorter overnight stays at the hospital, if any at all. That means less revenue for the hospital. Hospital CEO Steve Holman says he expects the trend to continue. Declining reimbursements also have a hand in this. Holman was asked if the affordable care act played a role in the layoffs.

“It’s a significant impact,” said Holman. “Sequester was certainly one where we’ve seen significant revenue reductions from, but also from the Affordable Care Act we have seen through the governmental, reductions in Medicare and Medicaid.”

Holman said this was a very difficult decision for these leaders. He also said the cuts will not have any adverse affects on patient care. He says Union Hospital will still work to give patients high quality health care at the lowest possible cost.

Dr. Bolinger also said these cuts will not hurt recruiting nurses or doctors to the hospital. He also says it will not derail Union’s plans to become a level three trauma center.

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