BARNESVILLE - Seventeen members of the Barnesville Hospital staff are now on the hunt for new jobs as the hospital was forced to make a staff reduction.
"It is with tremendous regret that we are forced to implement this staff reduction," said David Phillips, CEO of Barnesville Hospital. "However, it is a necessary action which ultimately enables us to preserve jobs by better positioning ourselves for the healthcare market and clime."
The reduction was brought about by the "Federal sequestration cuts in reimbursement, the negative impact of the continuation of the State franchise fee, the volatile changes in healthcare from the Affordable Care Act as well as the HITECH Act and trends in healthcare to limit inpatient admissions," according to a release issued by the facility.
The Ohio Hospital Association estimated that the Barnesville facility would lose more than $1 million by 2018 just from the sequester cuts.
However, 295 workers are still employed, including both full and part-time staff members.
"This staff reduction will not compromise the quality of patient care", emphasized Cindy Touvelle, RN, BSN, Chief Nursing Officer. "Staffing is being brought into line with the hospital's current needs."
But seventeen workers are without jobs. Fortunately, they weren't completely cut loose without any assistance.
Employees were provided severance packages and other benefits, along with being able to stay on the company roster as "as needed" employees. They will also be given first crack at any open positions moving forward.
"We intend to be as fair as possible to the employees affected by providing severance and other benefits," Phillips said. "We realize the hardship this reduction may cause for some families."
This is the first reduction in staff for Barnesville hospital since the late 1990s. Doing so, Phillips believes, will enable the facility and its remaining staff to still be able to meet the current needs of the community while not compromising patient care.
"Barnesville Hospital must be able to respond to changes in the healthcare industry in order to remain a cornerstone of the community and as one of the leading healthcare providers in Southeastern Ohio," Phillips said.
Hughes may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org