Layoffs begin for KentuckyOne Health employees

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by Claudia Coffey

WHAS11.com

Posted on February 18, 2014 at 5:52 PM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 18 at 7:10 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- The newly merged health care company KentuckyOne, the state’s largest health care system, announced job cuts on Monday, Feb. 17, and layoffs have already begun.

"Cause that's tough; everybody has been through that before," Mayor Fischer said.

KentuckyOne Health isn't saying exactly how many of its 15,000 employees will be affected. Fischer said the merger of St. Mary's, Jewish and University Hospital is one factor behind the reductions.

“Anytime you bring two big organizations like they did together, you are going to have some consolidation and rationalization in the work force. So I think that's probably part of it. Then you have the changing landscape and reimbursement so that's part of it as well," Fischer said.

KentuckyOne Health released this statement on Monday, Feb. 13: "Decisions about staff reductions are among the most difficult decisions we make. We are working to support the individuals impacted and to provide them with the resources they need during their transition…"

Professor of Economics Eric Schansberg with Indiana University Southeast says hospital mergers usually lead to layoffs but the Affordable Care Act certainly added to the difficulties of reorganizing.

"Then you have something like the Affordable Care Act which changes a lot. So we have gone from how the Affordable Care Act would change life for Papa John’s to how does it change life for hospitals and how they are going to operate in that environment," Schansberg said.

This is a statement we received from Governor Beshear: "I am disappointed about the loss of jobs in the Commonwealth, but understand KentuckyOne is making adjustments to meet the changing demands of the health care economy, just as many organizations must do from time to time."

A spokesperson for KentuckyOne said the system wide changes should be complete by the end of the month. 

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