St. Louis Regional Medical Center is considering laying off 90 employees in response to a severe budgetary shortfall predicted for the year that began July 1.
St. Louis Regional is an independent hospital that serves the medically indigent under contract with St. Louis city and county. The 304-bed hospital has virtually no insured clientele. Unless another source of revenue is found, the budget will have to be cut by $9 million, or about 10% of last year's spending, according to Margaret Sheppard, hospital spokeswoman.
"The board and board committees, the state and the city are trying to figure out a way to crowbar a little more out of Medicaid supplemental," Sheppard said. If no more money is forthcoming, the hospital will have to carry out the layoffs.
Many public hospitals around the country are facing the same predicament. The Med in Memphis and the New York City Health and Hospitals Corp. have already laid off thousands of employees. Los Angeles County has proposed shutting the University of Southern California Medical Center to close a budget gap.