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Consolidation at CHI St. Vincent Health led to staff reductions.
Consolidation at CHI St. Vincent Health led to staff reductions.

Merger prompts layoffs at CHI St. Vincent in Arkansas, and other news

By Modern Healthcare
Posted: July 12, 2014 - 12:01 am ET

CHI St. Vincent Health System, Little Rock, Ark., a subsidiary of Catholic Health Initiatives, said it would lay off about 2% of its workforce and eliminate several other jobs as it integrates a previously acquired hospital.

In April, CHI St. Vincent agreed to take over 282-bed Mercy Hospital Hot Springs (Ark.) from Mercy Health. The hospital has since been renamed CHI St. Vincent Hot Springs.

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CHI St. Vincent will lay off 91 employees and eliminate 157 positions altogether throughout the system. Officials said the transaction would allow CHI St. Vincent and the Hot Springs hospital to consolidate several back-office functions, “ensuring consistent and equitable operations” across the four-hospital system, according to a news release. Most layoffs did not affect patient-care roles. —Bob Herman

Follow Bob Herman on Twitter: @MHbherman

Georgia system wins court OK to open surgical center

WellStar Health System can open an ambulatory surgery center at its East Cobb Health Park.

After a four-year legal battle, the Marietta, Ga.-based system received a unanimous decision from the state's Supreme Court granting its certificate of need.

WellStar submitted its CON application in 2010, requesting to transfer three operating rooms to the health park from its Windy Hill Hospital. While the Department of Community Health initially granted the CON, another local provider, Atlanta-based Northside Hospital, protested and took WellStar to court.

At issue was whether Georgia's CON regulations were “unconstitutionally vague” in allowing the health department to decide on a “case-by-case basis” whether an offsite ambulatory surgery center is “part of a hospital,” and therefore subject to less stringent review.

The Georgia Court of Appeals and a Fulton County Superior Court judge agreed that the rule was unconstitutional and blocked the ambulatory surgery center, but the Supreme Court disagreed and reversed the CON denial. —Beth Kutscher

Follow Beth Kutscher on Twitter: @MHbkutscher

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