The American Hospital Association will soon offer an early retirement package of benefits to certain employees as yet another major effort to trim its work force and lower its operating costs, MODERN HEALTHCARE has learned.
The early retirement packages will be one method of downsizing the AHA's current work force of nearly 330 full-time-equivalent employees. It remains unclear, however, how many employees will be eligible.
A date has not been set for implementation of the plan.
AHA executives confirmed late last week they are working with the Lincolnshire, Ill.-based employee benefits firm Hewitt & Associates to determine a formula for employee eligibility for the program.
The plan isn't likely to be limited to employees nearing retirement age, and it isn't going to be a standing offer, AHA executives said.
"It will be a one-time event as a part of the restructuring," said Richard Wade, the AHA's senior vice president for communications.
Wade said AHA President Richard Davidson told Chicago and Washington staff of the early retirement benefits plan at an all-staff meeting the week of Oct. 20 to update employees on the organization's strategic plan.
AHA sources said association staffers received an internal memo via e-mail Oct. 30, telling them the details of the early retirement offer would be made available in two weeks.
The AHA has 257 FTE employees in its Chicago headquarters and 72 in its Washington office. Wade said employees from both offices would be eligible for the early retirement program.
The current total of 329 FTEs is less than half of what it was when Davidson took over the AHA in 1991. Then, there were 628 FTEs in Chicago and 50 in Washington, for a total of 678.