KentuckyOne Health begins layoffs - WDRB 41 Louisville News

KentuckyOne Health begins layoffs

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- KentuckyOne Health began laying off employees Monday, a move that was foreshadowed late last month when CEO Ruth Brinkley said the nonprofit healthcare system needed to improve operations by $218 million by mid-2015.

The layoffs, which were announced in an email to employees Monday afternoon, should be complete by the end of the month, KentuckyOne said. The company has not said how many of its nearly 15,000 employees might be affected.

KentuckyOne Health was formed in 2012 by the merger of Jewish Hospital & St. Mary's Healthcare in Louisville and the St. Joseph's health system in Lexington.

Last year, KentuckyOne took over most operations at University of Louisville Hospital and the James Graham Brown Cancer Center through a partnership with U of L.

"We are working to support the individuals impacted and to provide them with the resources they need during their transition," KentuckyOne spokeswoman Barbara Mackovic said in an emailed statement.

KentuckyOne's majority owner is Denver-based Catholic Health Initiatives, the nation's third-largest Catholic healthcare system, with 87 hospitals and more than $11 billion in annual revenue.

Of CHI's 12 key regions, KentuckyOne had the largest operating loss in the fiscal year that ended in June 2013, according to an October report by Standard & Poors, one of the firms that rates CHI's creditworthiness for investors who buy its debt.

The report said CHI is looking to "consolidate services" in Louisville between Jewish Hospital and University Medical Center.

Standard & Poors credit analyst Liz Sweeney said CHI has acquired several healthcare systems in recent years and now faces the challenge of integrating their day-to-day operations, which are very complex.

Meanwhile, the company is facing the same pressures as the healthcare industry as a whole, including declining patient volumes and shrinking payments from Medicare, she said.

According to Mackovic's statement, "there has been a fundamental shift in the way health care is organized and delivered."

Here's Mackovic's full statement:

"Decisions about staff reductions are among the most difficult decisions we make. We are working to support the individuals impacted and to provide them with the resources they need during their transition, including severance based on length of service and other individual factors. 

These changes are difficult, but necessary to bring our expenses in line with our revenue and reach our goal to become a fully integrated, financially stable health system within the next two years. There has been a fundamental shift in the way health care is organized and delivered. We must change in order to sustain our purpose—to bring wellness, healing and hope to all, including the underserved."

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