LEXINGTON, Ky.-University of Kentucky Hospital has announced cost-cutting measures to trim its budget by 5%, or nearly $12 million, over two years, including plans to eliminate about 300 jobs. The hospital said most of the job cuts would come through attrition, an early retirement program and the retraining and reassigning of current employees. Layoffs are not expected. Officials hope to trim the hospital's budget by $11.8 million in the next 24 months. The budget reductions will be made with "as painless a transition as possible" for hospital workers, said James Holsinger, chancellor for the university's Chandler Medical Center. Hospitals have become increasingly more corporate-min ded, and insurance payments have flattened in the past few years, necessitating changes in the way University of Kentucky Hospital operates, Holsinger said. In the past five years, the number of patients admitted to the hospital ha s decreased, while the number of outpatients and hospital employees has increased, Holsinger said. "We want to maintain the quality of care to our patients and be fair and humane to our employees," said Holsinger, who termed the possibility of layoffs at the hospital as "pretty minimal." The hospital currently employs about 2,800 people, Holsinger said. In 1991, the hospital had about 2,500 workers. The average daily patient population at the hospital ha s dropped this year to between 350 and 355 from 377. This works out to a ratio of 6.4 employees to each occupied bed this year, compared with 5.7 employees to each occupied bed in 1991. Holsinger said about 230 hospital employees w ill qualify for the early retirement offer. He estimated that 40% to 60% of them would take the option.
REGIONAL NEWS: SOUTH
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