Methodist Hospital in Houston, one of the nation's largest hospitals, will lay off 600 employees by the end of the year, its second major work-force reduction in two years.
Last year, the hospital offered voluntary early retirement to many employees as part of an effort to trim 600 positions from its 7,000-employee work force.
In this latest round of layoffs, Methodist executives plan to reduce hospital staffing to 4,800 employees. The hospital is licensed for 1,527 beds, but it is staffing 878, hospital officials said.
Since last year, 345 employees have been laid off, 250 have accepted voluntary early retirement and 920 positions have been eliminated through attrition.
In a letter to employees, Larry Mathis, Methodist's president and chief executive officer, said that the hospital is adapting to new demands for affordability from patients and payers. "Success in this new environment requires dramatically lowering the cost of providing care and changing the way we staff our organization," Mr. Mathis said.
The layoffs, which represent an 11% reduction in staff, will include management-level employees, said Blythe Palamara, a Methodist spokeswoman. They are part of an effort to cut $70 million from Methodist's budget by the end of the year, she said.
For example, she said four floors of the hospital previously had been dedicated to orthopedic procedures. Because many of those procedures are now being done on an outpatient basis, those services will be consolidated into three floors, she said.