LIMA - Despite earlier reports, there will be nurses among the 49 workers laid off from St. Rita's Medical Center.
Hospital President Jim Reber said Thursday that three registered nurses were among those affected by the hospital's staff cuts. A day earlier, Reber had said no nurses or direct patient-care staffers would be included in the layoffs.
Three RNs will be among those cut in an effort to reduce operational hours and low-volume services, Reber said in a statement sent by the hospital Thursday afternoon to media and hospital employees. There will also be direct patient-care providers other than nurses laid off, including imaging technologists.
The cuts come at a time when St. Rita's and hospitals are facing economic challenges largely from a combination of growing patient numbers and costs coupled with insufficient reimbursement from federal programs including Medicare and Medicaid
The cuts come from across the hospital's roughly 50 departments, including maintenance, patient accounting, and other support departments. Most are from areas where patient volumes have declined or shifted. Layoffs are seniority based by department. Job performance was not a consideration.
Reber apologized Thursday for his earlier comments, saying he should have been more clear about where the cuts were taking place.
"I should have said inpatient bedside registered nurses are not being laid off. Layoffs are very hard, often heart-wrenching decisions. Please keep everyone in thoughts and prayers during these difficult times," Reber said
St. Rita's patient count has increased by more than 3 percent in the past year, but those patients increasingly lack insurance or are underinsured. One in 10 patients seen at St. Rita's has either no insurance or insufficient insurance to cover costs. At the same time, Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements are trailing costs by 3 percent to 5 percent. That difference has come to $12 million during the past two years.