Q&A: Area Hospital Workforce Reductions

Swedish American Hospital in Rockford recently announced a reduction in workforce. They eliminated some positions and made the decision not to fill others. Salary increases were postponed.

Why would this happen? Could this happen at KSB?
Let me start with some topics on which we can all agree:

  • Reimbursement for the work we do is decreasing. Government payors (Medicare and Medicaid) are paying us less and taking more time to pay. With the budget pressures facing the state and federal government, that’s not going to change anytime soon. Commercial insurance is placing tremendous pressure on hospitals to do more with less and accept smaller payments. 
  • KSB succeeds by following our vision statement: KSB will be the community’s first choice for health services. If people choose to go elsewhere for services we could have provided, our current way of doing things won’t be sustainable. 
  • We need to get more efficient at the work we do. Work smarter… not harder. Linda Clemen and Dr. Appenheimer are leading our quality initiatives that show us ways to operate “lean” and still provide the type of world-class care our patients deserve. 

Why would this happen? 

Like it or not, hospitals are a business. Simply put, the money going out has to be equal to or less than the money coming in. In 2011, 66% of KSB’s total expenses were related to people: salaries, benefits, payroll taxes, etc. It’s difficult to reduce expenses without affecting people. 

Could this happen at KSB?
It doesn’t have to. Can we do more with our existing staff? Can we protect our own by slowing down the hiring process? We’re all busy, but can we take on more and still exceed our community’s expectations?

I think we can. Our first three months of 2012 met our expectations financially. We’re right where we need to be. It will take effort from all of us to stay there. It will take sacrifice and hard work, and we know how to do that at KSB. 

My commitment to you from the first day I sat in the CEO’s chair is to keep you informed on where we are as an organization. This blog, the employee forums, and the meals with administrators are a few of the ways you can stay updated with what’s happening throughout the organization.

We’re in this together, and there’s no place I’d rather be. I like our chances. I welcome your comments.

– Dave
1 Comment
  • Mary Sanders
    Posted at 17:53h, 02 May Reply

    Thanks Dave for taking the time to clarify where KSB stands at present and I personally appreciate the honesty of how things are going and what we need to do to be sure we all stay employed.
    I would rather know what lies ahead then be like an ostrich with my head stuck in the sand with no clue.

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