To slow mounting financial losses and prepare for a sale, Cape Coral (Fla.) Hospital laid off another 132 employees, bringing its total work-force reduction since June to 27%.
The 201-bed hospital has lost $25 million in the 16 months between June 30, 1993 and Oct. 31, 1994.
In June, when an audit uncovered financial irregularities, the hospital laid off about 200 workers. It now employs 710 (June 27, p. 16).
The audit led to the firings of three top executives, including former President J. Michael Ward (Sept. 5, p. 4).
The December layoffs are expected to cut $7 million, or 12% of its annual expenses, said Bernard O'Neil, a vice president with Quorum Health Resources, Nashville. Quorum was hired in September to manage the hospital.
"The only thing that brings the hospital back to the black is improved census," Mr. O'Neil said. "The expense cuts help cash flow and give us a window to find a merger partner."
Mr. O'Neil said Cape Coral was overstaffed before the June layoffs, with 6.8 full-time equivalent employees per occupied bed. With an average daily census of 90 patients, the hospital now has about five FTEs per patient, he said. The industry average is 4.2.
Several other management changes were announced. Joseph DePew, a Quorum employee, was appointed chief administrator, replacing Jeffrey Myers, the hospital's special counsel, who had served as interim president.
Meanwhile, the proposed merger of Cape Coral and Lee Memorial Hospital in Fort Myers, Fla., is on hold as Cape Coral reviews three other acquisition offers.
Cape Coral won federal appellate court approval to merge with Lee Memorial, after the Federal Trade Commission challenged a proposed merger. The FTC has until Dec. 14 to ask the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta to reconsider its decision. It has until Dec. 31 to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case. At deadline, the FTC had yet to announce a course of action.