Labor Organizations Oppose Maimonides Layoffs
Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn is looking to cut as many as 200 employees, the hospital said in a statement. The Maimonides layoffs are another addition to the increasing difficulty that the healthcare industry in the U.S. is facing.
The move was said to be a cost-cutting measure and amounts to about three percent of the 6,500 workers at the hospital. The layoffs will be, “in areas that will have the least impact on clinical care,” the hospital said in a statement.
The hospital job cuts include members of the New York State Nurses Association, as well as other unions.
The layoffs sparked protests from some of the unions, with a group called 1199 writing a media advisory for the protest claiming that “[p]atient care is sure to suffer with this downsizing, given the wide scope of job categories affected.”
The current round of Maimonides layoffs are also among the largest in the organization’s history.
“Maimonides—like hospitals across the region and country—is working through the reality of our industry’s economics: flat or declining government reimbursement rates coupled with rising costs,” Maimonides explained in its statement. The layoffs will help, “produce a fiscally sound budget for 2018.”
The hospital found itself with a $14.2-million loss in operations through the first three quarters of 2017. This was largely the result of a miscalculation regarding the deficit at its M2 Medical Community Practice, where the cost-versus-revenue of the place ended up being larger than anticipated. Maimonides said that it is looking to increase its physician network and patient volume and be more efficient in its spending.
The positions affected include radiology technicians, nurses, clerical staff and phlebotomists, according to union representatives.
As mentioned in the statement, hospitals across the country are experiencing similar circumstances to the ones that led to the Maimonides layoffs.
Healthcare prices are rising while patient inflow is down, partly due to the politically unstable nature of the current healthcare debate. Republicans have long sought the end of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), otherwise known as “Obamacare.” Former president Barack Obama, however, wielded the veto power, preventing the House and Senate majorities from ending the act. Once Donald Trump became president, many assumed that it would spell the end of the ACA.
But the Senate Republicans were unable to rally the party behind the repeal, losing the three key votes it needed to maintain a majority. The blow to Republican policymaking was huge, but larger still was the uncertainty the failure wrought among both Americans and insurance companies, to harmful affect.
For insurance companies, the uncertainty of what the future of healthcare law in the U.S. would look like made them begin hiking premiums in order to account for extra spending that may need to take place should the ACA be repealed or altered in some way.
Meanwhile, Americans who rely on the ACA to help them with their healthcare bills are staying away form hospitals at an alarming rate, concerned that the ACA may be repealed and therefore make healthcare once more out of reach to them.
In any case, the political ineffectiveness, infighting, and otherwise turmoil that has been seen in Washington has put the strain on hospitals, which have been laying off workers with more frequency of late. The Maimonides layoffs are just another few hundred names added to the growing list, with little hope for a swift resolution.
“Maimonides to lay off up to 200 employees,” Modern Healthcare, November 30, 2017.