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HR Roundup: Hospital Layoffs Are Full of Excuses

Chelsea Rice, for HealthLeaders Media, September 23, 2013

The healthcare law is a convenient scapegoat for hospitals looking to downsize staff and reallocate labor costs to other initiatives. Meanwhile, feds mandate home health workers' minimum wage and OT pay.

In this week's healthcare HR news round-up, hospitals and the media are blaming major layoffs on the PPACA when they're simply restructuring. Home healthcare workers win federally mandated minimum wage and overtime pay, while executives and nurse managers are outed for stealing from patients, and a regular citizen pretends to be a hospital worker.

Hospitals lay off workers, blame the PPACA
Hospitals are blaming healthcare reform for business shifts that are important to improve the quality and efficiency of our healthcare system. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is just giving many hospitals an excuse to lay responsibility for strategically motivated layoffs on someone else.

Last Wednesday morning, Cleveland Clinic President and CEO Toby Cosgrove, M.D., announced to his 44,000 employees that there would be an unspecified number of layoffs as a part of an effort to reduce the health system's 2014 budget by $330 million, or 6%.

Cosgrove cited the PPACA as one of the reasons behind the cuts, singing a similar tune to the dozens of other hospitals across the country that have announced layoffs in recent weeks and blamed the law.

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3 comments on "HR Roundup: Hospital Layoffs Are Full of Excuses"


Charles M (9/25/2013 at 4:45 PM)
Not much meat at all in the article to back up the opinionated headline and first paragraph. Not HealthLeaders typical excellent reporting. Disappointed.

Tom Gee (9/24/2013 at 4:40 PM)
I can't speak for a Cleveland Clinic or Vanderbilt which may definitely be reorganizing their large organizations, but as a small rural hospital that has recently laid off staff, we are doing so as a direct result of the cuts included in the Affordable Care Act and the Sequestration cuts under the budget deficit fiasco. In our system there are definitely the haves and have nots and rural hospitals are in a very vulnerable postion due these cuts. Threats by our state and others to not implement the expanded Medicaid or unisured benefits of the Affordable Care Act create even more uncertainty.

bettynoyes (9/23/2013 at 5:23 PM)
Whatever happens, for whatever reasons, what holds the key to success in quality, safety, and costs, is the front line managers ability to communicate and manage the complex change with their staff. Giving them the skills will reap benefits!