Hartford HealthCare is making staffing reduction that will affect 418 employees and eliminate the equivalent of about 335 full-time jobs, according to a news release.
The cuts are happening as the health care system faces cuts to state and federal reimbursements, according to Hartford HealthCare officials.
“Despite our best efforts to reduce costs and increase revenues this year, Hartford HealthCare faces additional Medicaid cuts, bringing our total Medicaid payment reductions from the State of Connecticut to more than $100 million over five years,” Jeffrey A. Flaks, executive vice president and chief operating officer, wrote in a letter sent to staff on Wednesday. “The magnitude of these cuts makes our model unsustainable going forward.”
Devon Puglia, a spokesperson for Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, said that "this is a challenging budget year where difficult, often unpopular, choices were absolutely necessary.
"As the state has to find new efficiencies to meet the challenging budget, the hospital industry will also have to find efficiencies to meet the changing industry," Puglia said. "With that said, last year, the hospital industry did have one of its most profitable and lucrative years. The bottom line is with this budget, we are working to transform Connecticut's transportation system and provide property tax relief for middle class families, and we're ensuring that those who should pay their fair share contribute to Connecticut and its long-term future.”
Hartford HealthCare is also looking into consolidating and reducing "some programs and services to create additional efficiencies and lower costs," according to Rebecca Stewart, a spokesperson for Hartford HealthCare. The healthcare organization is also contacting its vendors to review other areas to save money and expects to spend about $40 million less on products and services next year.
“This is significant. Hartford HealthCare is a true economic engine for our regions and our entire state,” Flaks said. “Besides being the largest employers in many of our towns, our projects provide substantial private capital investments for many of our communities. The goods and services we purchase — many in our state — create a demonstrable positive economic impact. Our community benefits investments support vital efforts to improve the quality of life.”
Continued investment in jobs, technology and healthcare facilities is important, Flaks said.
"These include a large-scale initiative to launch the Epic electronic health record and create a strong platform for data analysis to help keep populations healthy," Hartford HealthCare officials said.
The new 40,000-square-foot Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute also recently opened at The Hospital of Central Connecticut.
Hartford HealthCare officials said the organization is also focusing on "development of patient-focused service lines for orthopedics, neurosciences, cancer and cardiac care; and development of new outpatient options, with convenient, cost-effective ambulatory care centers throughout the Hartford HealthCare service area."
“Contending with these additional cutbacks has led us to some of the most difficult and painful decisions we have to make,” Flaks said. “Yet, it is essential that we do everything we can to remain viable and strong for those who rely on us for care.”