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The Carthage Press
  • Mercy lays off 14 at Carthage hospital

  • A total of 14 people at Mercy Carthage Hospital are either without a job or will soon be getting their pink slip after the parent company running the local hospital announced layoffs across its system.
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  • A total of 14 people at Mercy Carthage Hospital are either without a job or will soon be getting their pink slip after the parent company running the local hospital announced layoffs across its system.
    Mercy announced earlier this week it was laying off a total of 220 people out of its total workforce of about 40,000 people across seven states.
    Mercy said on its website, www.mercy.net, that 192 of the layoffs were made in hospitals in Missouri, 11 from Mercy Joplin and 14 at Mercy Carthage.
    "In response to economic and environmental changes in health care, Mercy has implemented a workforce reduction across its seven-state region," Mercy said in a written release. "The reduction is limited to non-patient care support areas."
    Mercy said in its statement that it is "managing the impact of market changes, including reimbursement reductions from government and commercial payers, lack of Medicaid expansion in most of the states we serve and declining inpatient utilization."
    Missouri lawmakers have rejected for the past two years the money offered in the federal Affordable Care Act to expand the state Medicaid system to handle people who don't qualify for subsidies under that act.
    The Republican-controlled Missouri General Assembly has rejected calls from hospitals and Gov. Jay Nixon to expand the system, saying they don't trust the federal government to follow through on Obamacare's provisions that the feds will pay 100 percent of the state's costs of Medicaid expansion for the first three years, gradually dropping to 90 percent by the year 2020.
    "We have been expecting and preparing for these changes for several years and have made tremendous progress in redesigning the health delivery system to meet evolving needs," Mercy said in its statement.  "As part of our transformation, we have consolidated many non-patient care support services to streamline how we work and achieve greater efficiencies."
    Mercy said the "co-workers whose positions have been eliminated are being treated with respect."
    The company's statement said co-workers will receive outplacement services and a severance package including compensation and benefits based on their position and length of service.
    “While not uncommon in today’s health care environment, these kinds of changes are nonetheless difficult,” said Lynn Britton, Mercy president and CEO. “As we realign to operate more efficiently, growth and expansion will continue across Mercy as community needs warrant.”
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