April 24, 2014
3:31 am
RAIN:  7AM to 7AM:  .00"    Month:  4.01”    Year:  10.98”   |  TEMPS:  High: 75  Low: 51
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Elimination of 70 positions, 15 employees, announced by BRMC


     Changes in health care have created what Baxter Regional Medical Center CEO and President Ron Peterson called "a perfect storm" for the hospital, that continues to see reduced numbers in patients.   At a press conference Wednesday, Peterson and Barney Larry, hospital executive vice president and hospital foundation executive director, announced the implementation of $18 million dollars in cost reductions and new growth strategies, which includes the elimination of approximately 70 positions at the hospital.   Peterson said through job transfers, not filling vacant positions and adjusting staffing to volume, there are actually only 15 individuals who will lose their jobs at the hospital.   Those positions are non-nursing and primarily in the areas of marketing, patient financial services, continuity of care and the wellness program.   The hospital will work with those 15 employees to find other opportunities for them, according to Peterson.     It was just two weeks ago that Peterson announced the elimination of 13 nursing positions by combining the medical and surgical units.   Positions in other units of the hospital were to be made available to those nurses.     
     Peterson said everyone within the hospital was challenged with finding $14 million in reduced costs or new growth and services.   When the task was completed, $18 million was found including over $80,000 a year from the over 600 volunteers who agreed to give up free meals.   
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     Peterson said the hospital has operated over budget for most of this year and in the red for the past few months.   He cited a five percent decline in numbers of patients at the hospital so far this year; a trend that is being experienced across the nation as more patients are treated as outpatients and technology reduces hospital stays.   
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     With a high population of senior citizens in the Twin Lakes Area, the hospital, which is dependent on Medicare, has seen those reimbursements reduced.   Additionally, federal budget concerns have led to cuts beyond those planned in the Affordable Care Act, such as cuts resulting from sequestration and the Taxpayer Relief Act of 2013, according to Peterson.
      Regardless, the hospital CEO said Baxter Regional Medical Center remains committed to providing the high quality health care to every patient, every time.
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     Baxter Regional Medical Center is 50 years old this year, said Peterson, and as hospital leaders, it is their responsibility to keep the hospital strong for another 50 years and for generations to come.

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