'Sign of the times': Memorial Hospital in Belleville announces layoffs

News-DemocratOctober 8, 2013 

Memorial Hospital and the Memorial Medical Group in Belleville announced Tuesday that 14 staff members will lose their jobs.

The layoffs affect only management and administrative positions and represent 5 percent of those positions, according to information released by the director of hospital and community relations, Anne Thomure. The layoffs are part of a management and administrative restructuring plan.

"Memorial has been very successful with strong quality rankings, patient satisfaction scores, employee engagement ratings and positive consumer perception," Mark J. Turner, president and CEO, said in a news release. "However, significant changes are necessary in the wake of what is occurring throughout the health care industry."

Memorial's statement said because of continued decreases in federal and state reimbursement, health care reform and the downturn of the economy along with the loss of the funds due to sequestration, Memorial, like virtually every hospital across the country, is faced with making difficult decisions in order to maintain the financial health necessary to serve to patients.

"Unfortunately, it's a sign of the times in the health care industry," Turner added. "Hospitals across the country are working to reduce expenses while increasing efficiency and quality."

Earlier this year, Memorial outsourced some of its services and extended placement opportunities or given employment offers with the contracted companies to the displaced workers.

When it announced the restructuring plan Tuesday, the hospital also informed employees about planned changes to some benefits and the employee health plan.

"While we do not anticipate any other immediate actions, this extremely volatile health care environment may necessitate some additional changes in the future," Turner said.

Memorial will continue its plans to build a 94-bed satellite hospital in Shiloh.

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