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UMass Memorial Health Care Will Cut 700 to 900 Jobs And Will Sell Off Home Health Services–Pressure From Insurers Who Are

Posted Feb 02 2012 2:10am

The title about says it all here so while the fantasy world of the 1% are chasing social algorithms, hospitals continue to struggle and insurers are seeing even bigger profits than before but continue to hammer down on the hospitals.  If you read image through below there are a couple of hospital closures also in store in Massachusetts. 

UMass Memorial will seek a potential buyer for Worcester-based Home Health and Hospice (HH&H).  In addition they are looking to sell their lab services as insurers are directing patients and doctors to use other labs with lower costs.  The hospital system is the largest employer in the center of Massachusetts.  

“There is already “a mini-gold rush” of companies trying to market tests based on the new techniques, at a time when good science has not caught up with the financial push..
Social networks are great and I use them but when sick do I go take a “Facebook pill”, or get some “Twitter therapy”, or get admitted to a “LinkedIn hospital”?  Don’t laugh as something along this line might be tossed your way when there’s not enough hospitals to care for all.  BD

UMass Memorial Health Care, which lost money in the last three months of 2011 amid shrinking patient volume, told its employees yesterday that it will shed 700 to 900 jobs, about 6 percent of its workforce, through a combination of layoffs at its flagship hospital and the sale of divisions that provide services such as home health care.

The health care system, which operates UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester and four community hospitals, is the largest employer in Central Massachusetts, with about 13,500 workers. But its profitability has been eroding for several years as it faces increasing pressure from businesses and commercial insurers to reduce costs.

Patient discharges fell 6 percent in the most recent quarter from the same period a year earlier, while imaging tests dropped by more than 7 percent, said John G. O’Brien, chief executive of the Worcester-based system. He said the numbers are declining as the system prepares to shift from a fee-for-service model to so-called global payments, under which insurers give hospitals and doctors a budget to provide patient care.

Hospital groups ranging from Boston Medical Center to Cambridge Health Alliance to Northeast Hospital Corp. of Beverly have slashed hundreds of jobs over the past two years.

Sixteen hospitals, nearly a quarter of those in the state, have been losing money, according to a report last year. Last month, Taunton State Hospital, which houses 169 mentally ill patients, said it would close its doors, while long-term care provider Kindred Healthcare Inc. said it will shut its 45-bed Waltham hospital.


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