HCMC cutting 75 to 100 more jobs

  • Article by: CHEN MAY YEE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 13, 2009 - 8:31 PM

It is unclear which jobs will be lost in this year's second round of layoffs.

The bleeding continues at Twin Cities hospitals.

Hennepin County Medical Center said Wednesday it will eliminate 75 to 100 jobs by the end of June to save money, its second round of layoffs since January.

The Minneapolis hospital will also delay buying a piece of property in downtown for a new outpatient care building.

A spokesperson said the hospital has not pinpointed which workers will lose their jobs, or the specific services affected. The hospital will also require administrators, managers and supervisors to take two days off without pay this year to save money.

As with the first round of layoffs, the state's biggest safety-net hospital blamed cuts in state funding last year. HCMC lost $7 million in state funding in 2008 as the state addressed a budget shortfall and lost another $12 million in December.

HCMC said it also lost $10 million in the first quarter because inpatient volume fell as a result of the recession.

The facility currently has a workforce of 4,960.

Waves of layoffs

The hospital is bracing for additional steep cuts, yet to be determined, as the Legislature and Gov. Tim Pawlenty work this week to address the state budget deficit.

"We need to reduce expenses immediately while we continue to plan for the impact of further state funding cuts," said CEO Lynn Abrahamsen.

Hospitals and clinics, usually immune to economic downturns, have announced several waves of layoffs in recent months. Cuts in state funding are just one reason. Hospitals also are reeling from big investment losses and lower inpatient volumes as people put off elective procedures because they have lost employer-sponsored insurance or have high deductibles they can't afford. Hospitals are also seeing charity care and bad debt go up.

On Wednesday, Park Nicollet Health Services, which owns Methodist Hospital, announced its third round of layoffs and said it was closing a clinic in Hopkins in the fall.

Chen May Yee • 612-673-7434

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