Carson Health cuts 9% of workforce

By Elisabeth Waldon • Last Updated 11:25 am on Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Carson Health eliminated 9 percent of its workforce this week, totaling 56 positions, due to federal budget cuts and changes to healthcare reform. — Daily News/Cory Smith

CARSON CITY — Carson Health eliminated 9 percent of its workforce this week due to federal budget cuts and changes to healthcare reform.

A total of 56 positions were eliminated throughout the organization, including 16 through a transfer or a reduction in hours, 18 through attrition (vacant positions that will not be filled) and 22 through position elimination. Carson Health, which is affiliated with Sparrow Health System, employed a total of 619 people before the cuts.

Hospital officials declined to specify the job titles of the 56 eliminated positions.

“Over the past year, Carson Health has experienced a decline in reimbursements due to the impact of cuts from the federal budget sequestration and ongoing changes related to healthcare reform,” said Director of Service Excellence and Corporate Communications Daniyel McAlvey. “Additionally, a stagnant economy and low regional growth has caused a decline in patient volume.”

McAlvey said the hospital has lost $400,000 over the past year due to the federal sequestration situation. Carson Hospital, which sees an average of 175 to 200 inpatient admissions per month, has also experienced a decrease in inpatients by 20 to 25 percent, according to McAlvey.

Sherri Lott, a transport assistant at Carson Health, answers the phone Tuesday afternoon at the reception desk in the central lobby of the hospital. A total of 56 positions were eliminated throughout the organization. — Daily News/Cory Smith

“In an effort to maintain our community-based services, Carson Health has proactively worked to reduce spending on supplies and equipment, implement best practices, standardize processes and improve productivity,” McAlvey said. “Unfortunately, these efforts haven’t been enough and we need to take the next step to reduce core staffing volumes to meet our significant decrease in patient volumes. The staff reductions have been considered carefully and deliberately. The decisions made are not reflective of the performance of the individuals involved. These reductions will help the organization strengthen its position for future growth.

“Carson Health will continue to focus on the patient experience, safety, quality and growth,” she said. “The reduction in staffing will not impact the quality of care provided at Carson Health.”

Carson Health is comprised of Carson City Hospital (a 77-bed acute care hospital) and 10 family practice affiliates in Ashley, Carson City, Greenville, Fowler, Ithaca, Lyons, Maple Rapids and Stanton.

Carson Health was founded in the early 1930s when Dr. Emmet Binkert, a graduate of the Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine in Missouri, came to Carson City to start his new practice. Binkert worked in a small office in downtown Carson City for three years before founding Carson Health inside his home in 1936. The hospital celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2011.

“Today, we are focused on meeting the needs of the affected individuals, but it is important that we also look to tomorrow,” Carson Health President and CEO Matt Thompson said. “Our primary goal is to ensure that Carson Health is here to provide care to our communities for many years to come. We truly believe that we have the people and the resources to continue to provide high quality care and exceptional patient experiences.”

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