Citing what it calls “ongoing labor struggles and financial challenges” Aultman has announced that it will cease operations at two skilled nursing facilities, including the Transitional Care Center at Aultman Woodlawn and the Community Care Center at Aultman Alliance Community Hospital.

A statement from Aultman did not say how many workers would be impacted. However, a Warn notice filed with the Department of Jobs and Family Services says 56 employees at the Alliance facility will be out of work at the beginning of April.

Included in the cuts are 12 registered nurses, 14 LPNs, 12 STNAs and a number of others. The notice said there are no transfer or bumping rights for the jobs and the employees are not represented by a union. A company representative said Aultman does not expect to close the entire facility.

The company also said it expects to cut 97 employees permanently at the Transitional Care Center in Canton.

“This decision was not one we made easily,” said Linda Casey, chief operating officer of Aultman Post-Acute Services. “We will work with short and long-term residents to identify their needs and help them find another facility that will address those needs, as well as provide support and education as needed during the transition process.”

The statement from Aultman says that because the skilled nursing industry was hit the hardest as a result of the pandemic, Aultman continues to face industry challenges, including ongoing staffing shortages.

Aultman also cited struggles to achieve adequate reimbursement from insurance providers and unsustainable losses as reasons for the closure.

Aultman says employees in the two closing units will be offered alternate roles within the organization, and Aultman does not anticipate any job loss.

“It’s a tough market for healthcare right now. We’re all competing to fill the same types of positions, particularly in nursing, and agency staffing to fill in the gaps is exceedingly expensive,” said Casey. “In addition, we’re facing increasing costs of care, and in many cases, health insurers that aren’t willing to adjust their reimbursement rates to reflect that, putting additional strain on hospitals and care facilities.”

Effective Feb. 1, both units have stopped taking new admissions to prepare for the closures.

The inpatient rehabilitation unit, home healthcare (Aultman Health Care in Your Home) and the Compassionate Care Center, all located on the Aultman Woodlawn campus, will remain open.

At Aultman Alliance, a portion of the Community Care Center space will be transitioned to inpatient hospice and we will be exploring additional opportunities for the remaining space, according to the company statement.