Salem Regional Medical Center: Cutting staff, 'not being bought' - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Salem Regional Medical Center: Cutting staff, 'not being bought'

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SALEM, Ohio -

Although Salem Regional Medical Center is cutting costs by cutting jobs, it is not being bought out by University Hospitals or any other organization, according to statements released by the hospital on Friday.

A media release from Salem Regional says that a study has determined that there is a need to reduce the hospital's workforce by what it would be equivalent to 26 full-time employees.

The hospital says that doesn't mean that it is terminating 26 people, saying that the majority of the full-time-equivalent reduction is being accomplished by reducing hours and not filling open positions that were vacated after retirements or resignations.

However, job eliminations will account for 10 of the full-time-equivalents, according to the statement.

“SRMC's management team has also been working diligently behind the scenes to reduce non-personnel expenses and supply costs," SRMC President and CEO, Dr. Anita A. Hackstedde.

Hospital officials say that while they are under pressure to shift to outpatient care, improve quality and lower the cost of care, third-party reimbursement continues to decline.

"As SRMC tackles these national trends, we are also experiencing local changes due to our aging population and increasing demand for chronic disease care,” said Dr. Hackstedde. “In light of these environmental factors, we have been working diligently to realign our services to meet our communities' changing needs; as well as address the ongoing decline in reimbursement, which frequently doesn't cover a hospital's cost to provide care."

The Medical Center announced in March that it was closing its maternity unit in response to an aging population, declining birth rates, and decreased demand for maternity services.

The statement says investment in outpatient primary care, cancer care, orthopedics, and specialty and diagnostic capabilities are important parts of the hospital's strategic plan.

"In order to maintain SRMC's strength as our region's healthcare leader, we are rebalancing our workforce to appropriately match the demand for patient services, in addition to continuing to improve our efficiencies through cost-reduction and service-growth strategies.” according to Dr. Hackstedde.

"Staff reductions and/or reduced work hours are focused on areas that should not have a significant impact on patient care, with the exception of those affected by the maternity unit's recent closure,” said Dr. Hackstedde. “The majority of these staff adjustments will occur in non-clinical departments as we realign our workforce and services to focus on the needs of our aging population and address the region's growth in cancer, chronic disease and outpatient demand for improved population health and wellness.”

In a separate statement, a hospital attempted to quell rumors about a possible sale of Salem Regional Medical Center.

SRMC is not being bought out by University Hospitals (UH) or any other organization. Last fall our board chose to bring world class cancer care to our region through a strategic partnership with the UH Seidman Cancer Center to provide medical oncology and radiation therapy to benefit our area’s cancer patients. This means that we affiliated with the UH Seidman Cancer Center as one of the nation’s top cancer providers to offer local access to advanced cancer care. We remain committed to continuing to serve our patients as an independent, non-profit, community hospital.

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