The University of Cincinnati Hospital is eliminating 290 jobs and is urging physicians to cut costs as part of $22 million in budget cuts.
The reductions announced last week are for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1995. They are the first stage of a three-year plan to cut $50 million-or 20%-from the hospital's budget.
Cutting labor costs will account for more than $32 million of the overall reduction. But physicians have been asked to save at least $18 million through changes in how medical care is provided, hospital spokeswoman Sandra Prell said.
Committees of physicians, nurses and administrators are drafting new treatment standards that will reduce the numbers of tests physicians order, recommend shorter hospital stays, and urge physicians to use less expensive medications when possible.
Hospital managers say the budget must be cut because the hospital's costs and fees are higher than those of competitors. University of Cincinnati Hospital has had trouble getting into managed-care networks because its cost per admission has been the highest in the Cincinnati region-about $6,400 a patient.
Of the 290 jobs eliminated, 202 were vacant because of retirements or transfers. Of the remaining 88 positions, about 80 people will lose their jobs. Some might take early retirement or shift to other university jobs, Ms. Prell said.
"Morale is pretty low," said Roy Bohanon, president of the hospital's American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union. "People still don't know if it's going to be them or one of their friends."
The hospital-part of the University of Cincinnati Medical Center-employs 3,175 people.
University of Cincinnati Hospital has joined a cooperative network with Christ Hospital of Cincinnati and the two St. Luke hospitals in northern Kentucky.