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The Times
  • 16 layoffs, dozens of positions cut at Faxton-St. Luke’s

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  • Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare laid off 16 employees Wednesday and eliminated the equivalent of 90 full-time positions.
    The hospital has lost $4.3 million so far this year, hospital officials said.
    The layoffs included clinical and non-clinical, and supervisory and non-supervisory positions. The other cuts came from the elimination of vacant positions and reductions in work hours in some areas.
    Some employees were given the option of cutting their hours from full- to part-time. In some departments with reduced workloads, the cuts were automatic, a spokeswoman said.
    Dwindling federal payments, including cuts in Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements, have caused financial problems for health systems across the state, officials said.
    “A layoff is always our last course of action, and we have worked diligently throughout the year to try to maintain all jobs,” said President and Chief Executive Officer Scott Perra. “The health care arena is in constant change. We have seen patients migrate to free-standing outpatient centers, as well as a decrease in the number of inpatients in the hospital setting.”
    Those changes and the falling reimbursements led to the operating loss, he said.
    “As we make the changes required to align with volume shifts to the outpatient setting, it has an impact in our overall service model and impacts certain jobs,” he said.
    Faxton-St. Luke’s also laid off 10 employees and eliminated 27 vacant positions in January.
    St. Elizabeth Medical Center laid off 10 and cut about 40 vacant positions in June, citing the same financial pressures as Faxton-St. Luke’s.
    Because of those pressures, the hospitals are working toward an affiliation under a common parent organization to be called the Mohawk Valley Health System.
    Officials have said that the affiliation would strengthen them financially and perhaps help them bring new services to the area, while allowing St. Elizabeth to remain Catholic and Faxton St. Luke’s secular.
    The affiliation still needs approval from the state and satisfactory review by the federal Fair Trade Commission.
    Faxton-St. Luke’s includes the hospital’s two campuses, St. Luke’s Home, Adirondack Community Physicians, Visiting Nurse Association of Utica and Oneida County, Senior Health Network and Mohawk Valley Home Care.
    It employs 2,850 workers and has a $320 million annual budget.

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