TERRE HAUTE -- Union Hospital has taken steps to reduce costs in order to meet its budget this fiscal year.
In a press release, hospital officials state that continuing Medicare and Medicaid shortfalls in reimbursement for care provided is the single biggest reason for declining revenues, resulting in a negative impact on the hospital's budget.
According to David Doerr, Union Hospital chief executive officer, the following steps have been taken to get the hospital back on track and end the fiscal year with a projected $4 million operating income:
- The reduction of approximately 60 employees. Positions eliminated with this plan are largely in non-patient care areas.
- Positions that open in non-patient care areas to be filled only when necessary and from within where possible. Hiring in patient care areas will not be affected.
- A "low or no overtime" policy.
Hospital Chief Operating Officer Steve Reed said, "Although we regretfully have to take these steps, we are confident that we will continue to provide the same outstanding care and customer service that the community has relied on for years.
"Hospitals throughout the United States continue to be caught between a rock and a hard place. On one hand, the demand for services is up. On the other hand, reimbursement is down. This is what most health care providers, including Union Hospital, are facing," said Reed.
Union's CEO pledged to continue seeking other ways to save money.
"We regret that we had to let go of talented people because of the Medicare and Medicaid shortfall in reimbursement. This has not been an easy decision, but clearly necessary. We will continue to evaluate other alternatives to improve our financial position as we fulfill our mission of meeting the healthcare needs of the Wabash Valley through high quality services," said Doerr.
Most of the decline in reimbursement is from the Medicare and state Medicaid. More than half of the patients who are cared for at Union Hospital are in these programs.