MOUNT VERNON — As announced in December, Knox Community Hospital, in a cost-saving move, has reduced its workforce. A total of 16 individuals are now without a job.
The number is lower than the possible 50 announced in December due to people voluntarily leaving the organization, retirements and other adjustments. Prema Samhat, director of development and community relations, said KCH has worked with Opportunity Knox to provide information and training sessions to assist those employees “in transition.”
The positions eliminated were across various areas and classification, Samhat said. Department directors have made the necessary adjustments regarding the work load to continue to provide safe, quality care.
“In the case of non-patient areas,” Samhat continued, “department directors have processes in place to ensure that their departments run smoothly and efficiently.”
In addition to the staff reductions, paid time off for employees’ accrual rate was reduced in half and the 403b tax-deferred retirement plan’s employer match was suspended.
Chief Executive Officer Bruce White, in December, told the News one of the main reasons for the reduction in work force is the “shrinking reimbursement due to reduced patient volume, changes in the patient populations seeking care and increasing hospital costs.” He added that hospitals are seeing reductions in the reimbursement from private insurance companies as well as from Medicare and Medicaid.
The goal of the reductions, White said, is to create a work force that will operate the best patient care with the best financial efficiency.
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