Hospital eliminates 7 jobs as cost-cutting measure

Grays Harbor Community Hospital/Grays Harbor Public Hospital District #2 have eliminated seven positions from their Health Information Management department.

They say these jobs were related to “coding, transcription and tumor registry”.

These positions will now be outsourced.

They say that the change will  save the hospital $783,000.

The downsizing is part of the hospital’s continued effort to cut costs to recover from lost revenue due to medicare/medicaid reimbursements not equaling costs.

In a release, they stated;

“In order to mitigate the losses that this hospital has experienced we are forced to make difficult decisions regarding staffing. The changes to come are challenging but essential in order to keep the hospital healthy and viable for our community who rely on us for their health care needs. “

The hospital has stated that due to the majority of their patients using the subsidized insurance plans, they only receive a portion of the costs incurred back from the federal programs.

These reimbursements have continued to place the hospital district in the deficit, while costs to use non-permanent physicians in their facilities continue to drain funding.

“For more than a year, every department of our organization has been going through a rigorous review of efficiencies in order to streamline our work flow, utilize supplies more effectively and improve processes for higher cost savings. Decisions made today are based on months of analysis and comparative data with like health care systems nationwide.”

More reductions in staffing may be made in the future.

“If Medicare and Medicaid continue to an annual increase of approximately 1 percent when expenses increase anywhere from 3 to 8 percent (scheduling, overtime, supplies), there will have to be cuts to maintain financial viability.”

The hospital has enacted several changes over the last 5 years to increase their reimbursements. This includes changing to a Public Hospital to take advantage of Sole Community Hospital reimbursement rates and recently announcing changes to pursue status as a 49-bed Sole Community Hospital.

Prior to 2010, the facility was consistently showing profits according to Tom Jensen in 2014. He said at that time that a lot of the problems came after 2008 when local mills began closing and less people were under private insurance plans.

Under the 49-bed Sole Community Hospital status, the administration has said that reimbursement rates will even out to represent costs. This change will turn current inpatient beds into “observation” beds, which fall under a different pricing structure. This could bring additional costs to patients who use the services.

As of October 1, the hospital began operating as a Sole Community Hospital, although the process to become classified under the new designation is approximately 18-24 months from being fully implemented.

 

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