Providence Health Care is planning to trim staff at its Eastern Washington hospitals, but says it hopes to avoid layoffs.
The move is being prompted in part by a growing amount of unpaid medical bills as a result of the recession.
In a memo to staff, Andrew Agwunobi, a physician who is CEO of Providence's regional operations, said the not-for-profit healthcare systema part of Seattle-based Providence Health & Servicesis $9 million behind its budget.
He wrote that "some level" of staff reductions will take place in April and May.
Sacred Heart Medical Center and Holy Family Hospital employ most of Providence's 8,450 employees in Spokane and Stevens counties.
Agwunobi said the hospitals will try to use attrition, a hiring freeze for non-essential jobs and possibly unpaid furloughs to reduce the staff.
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