As pressure mounts, Kaweah Health set to shed 200 jobs

Valley health care institutions are facing high costs and insufficient reimbursement. Tulare County’s Kaweah Health is pursuing cost-cutting measures to right the ship.

Kaweah Health, the public hospital agency that operates Kaweah Delta Medical Center, has increased the number of jobs it will eliminate in a cost-saving move to make up for steep deficits during the coronavirus pandemic.

Kaweah, like most Valley hospitals, has faced immense financial pressure since the onset of the pandemic. The hospital group launched a restructuring plan, dubbed “Back in the Black,” to reorient its finances.

What’s in the plan? At the top of the list are job cuts. The hospital announced layoffs of 106 currently-filled positions and the shuttering of 90 open positions.

  • This month, the hospital group added another 94 positions to be eliminated, rounding out the full class of layoffs through February 2023.
  • The move will deliver an annualized boost of $21 million to the hospital, management said at the time of the announcement.
  • The hospital also committed to reducing its contract labor – particularly travel nurses – to save the hospital agency $55 million annually.

The bigger picture: Soaring costs, paired with Medi-Cal and insurance reimbursement rates failing to keep up with the cost increases, have pushed Valley rural hospitals to the brink.

  • Madera Community Hospital closed its doors in early January and is set to declare Chapter 11 bankruptcy, owing largely to increased costs and failure to secure a merger with Trinity Health.
  • Meanwhile, Fresno-based Community Health System has pushed a number of insurance agreements to expiration at the end of 2022 to renegotiate better reimbursement rates for care.
Related Posts