Hospital layoffs and the Affordable Heath Care Act

Posted at: 01/31/2013 5:15 PM
Updated at: 01/31/2013 5:23 PM
By: Amanda Ciavarri

The Affordable Care Act is designed to make health care easier to get, but now, one local hospital says Affordable Health Care is the reason it is laying people off.

Clifton Springs Hospital let almost 60 non-clinical employees go last Friday. Hospital officials says it's all because they're trying to get ready for the impact of the new health care act. The act changes the way health insurance is run and the way hospitals are paid.

The Affordable Care Act means many of you will be making more decisions when it comes to your own health care. Health care workers say co-pays and deductibles will be higher, that means things like x-rays and MRI's will cost you  more. So people will be forced to decide if they really want them. That might mean fewer people in the hospital.

Clifton Springs Hospital is preparing for that now. Last Friday, Clifton Springs Hospital laid off 58-full time employees. The reason is to get ready for the Affordable Care Act that will unfold over the next four years.

Lewis Zulick, Interim CEO of Clifton Springs Hospital, said, “That was something that we realized, especially over the last 6 months or so, that we had to do something to really match up our revenue to our expenses. That really had to do with the kind of volume we were experiencing at the hospital.”

Lewis Zulick, the Interim CEO of Clifton Springs Hospital says the act made them look closely at the way they do business.
He says health care workers all over the country are trying to prepare for the impact it will have.

Zulick said, “No one really knows what the impact will be cause it really is a very new way for reimbursing for health care so I think everyone is being very cautious cause they don't know if there will be a drastic reorganization and redistribution of the health care dollar, or not that much of a change. So I think everyone is trying to prepare for a change and a change with less revenue.”

Less revenue because Zulick expects fewer people to come to hospital for their care. News10NBC wanted to know in the long run what this means.
News10NBC's Amanda Ciavarri said, “You've already had to make layoffs to prepare for it and re look at everything you are doing, is it hurting or helping?

Zulick said, “Um, that’s a really difficult question to answer. I think it will help in that it will give more people health insurance and I think that it will be a challenge for the health care industry cause there is going to be more competition. You are going to have to be productive and very careful about how if you are something your expenses to your revenue.”

News10NBC wanted to know if the problems Clifton Springs faces could happen to the hospitals that most of you go to like Strong and RGH.

Strong said it's not out of the question but right now it's too soon in the process to tell. They are still trying to figure out exactly how the act will impact them.

RGH released a statement, “For several years, Rochester General Health Systems has anticipated and prepared for the changes brought by the Affordable Health Care Act. While the implications of the health care reform will continue to have some uncertainty, our entire health care system is already well positioned for these changes and looks forward to continuing to bring the highest quality health care to the Greater Rochester community, today and well into the future.”     

Clifton Springs is working with a consulting firm to keep them on track during the process. They say they hope the layoffs now will prevent more down the road.