As part of a multifaceted plan to cut costs amid a changing landscape, Waterbury Hospital will eliminate 80 full-time staffers, according to a spokesperson for the hospital.
Waterbury Hospital interim communications director Patricia Charvat said in a news release Thursday that the cuts are one element of a “four-part plan to stabilize [the hospital’s] financial condition and strengthen the organization for the future.”
The release cites “enormous challenges from state and federal reimbursement cutbacks” affecting hospitals around the country, along with the implications of health care reform, and changing marketplace and a shift toward outpatient treatment.
Charvat also said the hospital is under tremendous financial pressure, as its reimbursement during the 2015 fiscal year will fall $9.77 million short of last year’s number.
“Given the fiscal pressures facing our hospital, we have had to make very tough and painful choices. Make no mistake, these are very difficult decisions,” Waterbury Hospital President and CEO Darlene Stromstad said in a statement Thursday. “However, we must begin the process of triaging our limited resources to ensure that our patients have the best care possible and to ensure our hospital will be around for another 126 years.”
The hospital’s four-part cost reduction plan includes the following:
- Eliminating open positions, cutting some full- and part-time positions and curbing hours of employees who stay. About 100 workers from both clinical and non-clinical departments will be affected.
- Eliminating and/or postponing initiatives not directly related to patient care.
- Closing or consolidating physician practices and community services such as blood draw stations.
- Considering outsourcing work and pursuing “collaborative opportunities.”
Although a deal is in the works to bring in Tenet Healthcare, which would take over operations of five Connecticut hospitals including Waterbury, Stromstad conveyed a sense or urgency.
“While we are encouraged by Governor Malloy reaching out to Tenet Healthcare for further discussions about re-engaging in the transaction with the Waterbury hospitals, we are taking action today to sustain this hospital’s long-term viability—however painful this may be,” Stromstad said in a statement. “We remain resolute in fulfilling our mission of caring for our patients and community, both today and for the future.”