Goshen News, Goshen, IN

September 13, 2013

IU Goshen Health unaffected by hospital system’s job cuts

By SHERRY VAN ARSDALL
THE GOSHEN NEWS

— GOSHEN — Indiana’s largest hospital system said Thursday it will cut about 800 jobs as part of a move to reduce costs and adapt to changing trends in health care.

IU Health Goshen is not reducing its workforce at this time, and has no immediate plans to do so, said Melanie McDonald, Public Relations Manager for IU Health Goshen.

“Goshen is not immune to the external forces affecting the financial welfare of the healthcare industry,” McDonald said. “The good news is that we are positioned to fare well if — with the help of colleagues and the broader community — we continue to pull together to streamline processes, develop valuable partnerships, and adapt to the changing healthcare environment while maintaining an outstanding level of patient care.”

The cutbacks will go into effect by Dec. 1 at seven hospitals, including those in the Indianapolis area, Muncie and Tipton, Indiana University Health officials said at a news conference. Officials said they’re trying to save $1 billion over five years.

“Our team members are the most important asset to the mission of our organization and we are profoundly aware of the effect of our decision on these individuals, their families, and the communities we serve,” said Daniel F. Evans, Jr., President and CEO of Indiana University Health.

“As is consistent with our long-held values, every measure — including offering early retirement in many cases — will be taken to lessen the impact on our team members. While today’s decision is regrettable, it also is necessary if IU Health is to continue to offer the nationally recognized care that our patients have rightfully come to expect of us.”

IU Health’s website said the system has more than 24,000 full-time employees.

The cuts, along with a related realignment in how IU Health delivers services, reflect declining reimbursement rates and decreases in hospital admissions as patients increasingly seek alternative care.

“Patients are making decisions to not come to hospitals the way they did,” said Jeff Sperring, president and CEO of Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health.

The 19-hospital system will offer some employees early retirement. Those employees must make their decision by Sept. 22, officials said.

IU Health officials said the changes did not mean the health care industry was in decline, but just that it was changing.

“We are determined to remain at the forefront of innovation and leadership in our industry, and as such, will continue to invest in our capabilities to manage the health and wellness of Hoosiers, and to offer best-in-class care and value to all those who depend upon us,” Evans said. “On behalf of the IU Health Board of Directors and all of our leadership, I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to all of our team members for their tireless commitment to improving the health of the communities we are privileged serve.”