TUCSON, Ariz.-Tucson Medical Center said earlier this month that it will eliminate four programs and cut 70 jobs to stem financial losses resulting in part from reductions in Medicare reimbursement. Among the programs being cut are support groups, nutrition counseling and other support services for cancer patients and their families. Also being phased out are eight residential treatment beds at affiliated Palo Verde Psychiatric Hospital, Tucson Medical's 60-bed transitional-care unit for patients with chronic illness who do not require hospital-level care, and an exercise center. "We cannot continue to put our finite resources into programs that others in the community can do better," said Jack Jewett, vice president of public policy at 523-bed Tucson Medical. "This will allow us to focus on our core business, those services that are expected of a community hospital."
HILO, Hawaii-Hilo Medical Center plans to close its long-term-care facility, which provides treatment to nearly 90 disabled patients. Robert Morris, chief executive officer of 274-bed Hilo Medical, said the hospital hopes to stop accepting long-term patients next fall and start relocating its existing patients. Some of the 100 people who work at the long-term-care facility may be laid off, he said. Any service reductions would require approval from the state Legislature, which in 1996 created Hawaii Health Systems Corp. It runs 12 hospitals throughout Hawaii; Hilo Medical is among five the system operates on the Big Island. Morris says the corporation will ask legislators to approve closing the long-term-care facility, which is losing between $1 million and $2 million per year.
SACRAMENTO, Calif.-Mercy Healthcare Sacramento laid off 50 employees Nov. 17 as part of a $3 million-per-year cost saving program. Mercy, a six-hospital system that's an affiliate of San Francisco-based Catholic Healthcare West, lost $3.1 million during fiscal 1999 ended June 30, compared with net income of $1.9 million in fiscal 1998. The eliminated jobs consist of management, medical and support staff. Fifty vacant positions have also been eliminated, and 50 other employees have seen their work hours reduced. After the most recent cuts, Mercy employs about 8,200.