Women & Infants hospital is laying off 41 employees and reducing hours for half a dozen others. The hospital blames the job cuts on dropping birth rates in Rhode Island, combined with changes in the way insurance and federal healthcare plans pay hospitals. Rhode Island Public Radio's Elisabeth Harrison reports.
According to Women & Infants Senior Vice President for Patient Care Angelleen Peters-Lewis, the focus now is better outcomes, not more procedures.
"We know that healthcare reimbursements are changing. We’ve felt the impact of that," Lewis said. "And so we have to make sure that we’re able to survive a new healthcare environment where reimbursements are different."
Peters-Lewis said no nurses have been laid off as part of an effort to maintain the quality of patient care. But she added that layoffs are always difficult.
"We are committed to our hospital surviving and want to position our hospital for success in the future, but when you’re doing that you still have to make tough decisions, and this was a very tough one for us to make," Peters-Lewis said.
The hospital has implemented additional cost saving measures, including new scheduling and some early retirement incentives. Given the changing nature of the healthcare landscape, hospital officials said they could not rule out the possibility of more layoffs in the future.