October 3, 2013
ELIZABETHTOWN — While Cape Fear Valley Hospital in Fayetteville has announced they are cutting 118 jobs, positions at Bladen County Hospital are safe, according to Vice President of Marketing and Outreach Vincent Benbenek.
Of those 118 positions at Cape Fear Valley, 99 were currently shown as vacant, according to Benbenek. There were 19 employees in positions that were cut and they will be offered an opportunity to take other jobs in the health system. Six of those 19 employees were from managment-related positions.Benbenek siad the hospital has a current workforce of about 5,800 employees.
The cuts represent about “one-third of one percent” of the hospital’s workforce.
“None of the layoffs were at Bladen. Dan Weatherly (Bladen County Hospital CEO) is currently realigning some of the staff to increase efficiencies, but nobody has been laid off,” said Benbenek in a written statement.
Benbenek blamed the job cuts at CFV on the reduced reimbursements from both the state and federal governments because North Carolina’s decision not to expand Medicaid eligibility. Benbenk wrote that the reductions will amount to about $22 million.
“The North Carolina state legislature’s decision not to expand Medicaid eligibility means we won’t see a significant increase in patients covered by health insurance, which would have helped offset those cuts,” said Benbenek. “And that’s on top of the $18 million in state cuts to Medicaid reimbursements, cuts in federal Medicare payments and federal cuts brought on by sequestration.”
Benbenek said it costs about $1.6 million per day to operate the health system, with 58 percent of that required for salaries and benefits.
“We are not alone in facing layoffs; it has become a nationwide issue,” said Benbenek.
Other hospital systems experiencing layoffs include: St. Vincent in Indianapolis, 865 jobs; Denver (Colo.) Health, 300 jobs; Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, 300 jobs; and Louisiana State University Health Care Services Division in Baton Rouge (La.), 2,340 employees.
In North Carolina, the following hospitals and health systems have experienced layoffs: Columbus Regional Healthcare in Whiteville, 28 positions (4 percent of the workforce); Vidant announced Pungo Hospital will close, 90 to 100 jobs lost in a community of 1,700 people; Mission Health in Asheville, 68 positions; WakeMed in Raleigh, 100 employees; Duke Regional Hospital in Durham 39 employees; Cone Health in Winston-Salem, 300 positions, 150 of them filled.