JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Baptist Health Systems removed five percent of its workforce, roughly 200 positions, Monday.
"We haven't seen income reimbursements increases in Medicare, Medicaid, insurance companies and health care reform and the economy we felt we needed to reduce expenses," said Baptist President and CEO Kurt Metzner.
The cuts affect about 186 people, but Metzner said there are 136 vacant positions for those who want to apply to stay. The news may come as a shock to some. Less than two years ago Baptist unveiled a six-level tower housing Baptist for Women and a new cardiovascular center at a cost of $80 million.
"Really rolling that forward and paying for that over the next 40 years has very little impact on what our costs of operations are," said Metzner.
The only difference patients may notice is Baptist will be for children. The hospital will provide outpatient medical pediatrics, services for children requiring less than 24 hours of care, but cut out inpatient medical pediatric services.
"Inpatient pediatrics is basically medical and for the few patients that we have that part of the pediatric program will be shut down. There's a wonderful alternative at Blair E. Batson and patients can be served there," said Mr. Metzner.
He said services will only be improved and the patient to nurse ratio will stay the same.
"We're simply preparing for the next 100 years. Part of it is facilities, building and services and it is making sure we're in a strong financial position to be able to do so," said Metzner.
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