TURLOCK -- Emanuel Medical Center laid off 24 employees effective Thursday as it continued to deal with decreasing reimbursements and low patient counts, a statement from the 209-bed hospital said.
An announcement regarding the cuts was sent to staff Thursday afternoon. The cuts included 17 full-time and seven part-time positions. Hospital officials declined to specify which departments were affected.
"We are doing our best to help those employees directly affected by the staff reduction," the hospital said in a statement e-mailed to The Bee. Eligible employees will receive severance packages and be allowed to extend their health benefits through December, the statement said.
The nonprofit hospital cited a low patient census, decreasing revenue and increasing rates of uncompensated care as the reasons for the layoffs.
Three weeks ago, Memorial Medical Center of Modesto said a restructuring would result in a 5 percent staff reduction, a move that could cut at least 150 positions. Employees at Memorial are expecting to hear more details within two weeks; workers losing their jobs were to be given 60 days' notice.
Decreasing patients and a steep decline in payments from insurers for hospital services were the principal reasons cited for the cuts at Memorial. Many hospitals are being affected by a decline in people with insurance and a trend toward higher-deductible health plans.
Most hospitals in Stanislaus County also see large numbers of patients with Medi-Cal benefits. Hospital officials complain that reimbursements from the Medi-Cal program do not cover the costs of patient care.
In September, Emanuel officials said they were in exclusive negotiations with Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare Corp., which could result in the sale of the Turlock hospital to Tenet. Owned by Evangelical Covenant Church, Emanuel is one of the few independent hospitals in California and is seeking to merge or partner with a larger health care organization.
Bee staff writer Ken Carlson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (209) 578-2321.