Baptist Health System Announces Layoffs, Reorg

John Commins, September 1, 2010

Baptist Health System announced this week that 200 jobs will be eliminated at the Jackson, MS health system as part of a cost-cutting strategic overhaul that comes with a weak economy, falling admissions, and anticipated lower Medicare reimbursements.

Baptist Health Spokesman Robby Channell said the cuts and restructuring are being implemented after four month-long top-to-bottom review of BHS operations that have identified about $16 million in savings, about $13 million of which will come through renegotiating supply contracts and system efficiencies.

"We have to look at how to do things differently, spending less and doing more with less," Channell says. "Really, we're just trying to plan for the future. We hadn't sat back and looked at off of that until the last year or so."

Of the 200 jobs slated for elimination, 186 are now filled, including 50 nursing positions. However, Channell says the strategic review also identified another 136 jobs that were deemed to be necessary and would have to be filled, including 49 vacant nursing positions. Channell said BHS anticipates that many of the laid-off workers will reapply for the newly identified jobs.

Channell says that BHS employees were told when the review began that it might result in job losses. "They knew this was coming. We've been communicating with employees throughout this process," he says.

In addition, Baptist is relocating its Pediatric Outpatient Services away from the 640-bed Baptist Medical Center and to its Same Day Surgery Unit, to account for declining inpatient pediatric admissions.

John Commins

John Commins is a senior editor at HealthLeaders Media.

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