One of the biggest hospital systems in Philadelphia run by the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital Inc is cutting dozens of jobs as it faces significant healthcare challenges in 2017. The Jefferson Health layoffs follow the hospital system’s three-year-long acquisition spree.
Jefferson Health Layoffs a Result of Cost-Cutting Measures
Jefferson Health has not disclosed an official number of the job cuts. However, the CEO of Thomas Jefferson University Hospital Inc has confirmed that less than one percent of the hospital system’s workforce will be affected by the latest Jefferson Health job cuts.
The hospital system employs a total workforce of about 30,000 employees, mostly within Philadelphia and New Jersey. That indicates that between 200 and 300 employees may be affected by the Jefferson Health layoffs.
The layoffs follow as the hospital system turns to cost-cutting after three years of an aggressive merger spree. Just three years ago, Jefferson Health constituted of only three hospitals and the Thomas Jefferson University. Today, it is a massive network of 13 hospitals and has also added Philadelphia University to that network.
The hospital system’s employee count has also significantly jumped in this period—from 13,000 three years ago to 30,000 today—due to these very mergers.
Mergers and acquisitions obviously do not come cheap. Also, they are usually followed by consolidation measures, which usually result in the elimination of duplicated job functions. As it seems, Jefferson Health is likewise beginning to axe some of the jobs rendered redundant following the mergers.
Regardless, cost-cutting remains a primary motive behind Jefferson Health layoffs.
Jefferson Health Layoffs Part of the Ongoing Healthcare Challenges in 2017
Jefferson Health layoffs are just one of the countless healthcare sector layoffs that have taken place this year. Hospitals, in particular, have been shedding staff to slash their employee costs.
We’ve reported a number of significant healthcare layoffs through this year, as many big hospital networks cut hundreds of jobs. Meanwhile, hospital bankruptcies have also been on the rise this year.
Hospital systems across the country have come under pressure to control their expenses ahead of their likely loss of revenue in the coming years.
The Trump administration is planning to cut funding to the Medicaid and Medicare programs, under which hospitals receive insurance reimbursements from the government for providing care to the insured patients.
Uncertainty surrounding the Affordable Care Act (ACA)—alternatively called Obamacare—is growing, which is adding to the healthcare challenges being faced by hospitals. Republicans have vowed to at least weaken healthcare act, if not fully abolish it. The Republicans have thrice failed this year to pass the Obamacare repeal bill and have now turned to a new plan to slash funding to the healthcare programs covered under the Obamacare.
Hospitals that rely on insurance reimbursements from the government as their primary source of revenue face the risk of going out of business if the federal government slashes funding to these programs.
Jefferson Health layoffs may only be the beginning of major healthcare layoffs in Philadelphia as the state runs out of money. Just last month, Pennsylvania delayed its Medicaid payments as Governor Tom Wolf held back on more than $1.7 billion in state funds.
The Trump administration must review its stance on healthcare, else more layoffs similar to Jefferson Health layoffs are likely to follow at hospital systems across the country.
“Jefferson Health to trim workforce by about 200 jobs, sources say,” Philadelphia Business Journal, October 25, 2017.