(Las Vegas,NV) — Financially strapped University Medical Center is undergoing some major restructuring,an attempt to save the hospital millions of dollars.
At the end of September, outpatient oncology, outpatient pharmacy and the Lied Clinics will all be eliminated, resulting in more than 200 employees being laid off. UMC CEO Lawrence Barnard described it as a very difficult position to be in, but calls it a necessary step to ensure UMC stays viable in the coming years.
“With the expansion of medicaid, the Affordable Care Act, the removal of Clark County social services payments and the fact that the county doesn’t have the ability to sustain the budget needs throughout the entire county, we had to look at reductions in labor,” expressed Barnard.
Barnard says they need to focus on the life-saving services that make UMC unique to the community, including their trauma, burn and transplant centers. These centers will stay in operation. The programs that are cut are expected to save UMC $21 million in the next nine months and then additional savings in the years to come.
“We believe that this will give us some breathing room for the next one…maybe even two years,” said Barnard.
He says the approximately 1,000 patients who will be affected by the cuts will be redirected to healthcare facilities in Las Vegas that do offer the services.
As for employees, 224 will get layoff notifications at the end of August, with layoffs expected at the end of September. Another 61 positions that were vacant will remain vacant.
“Hoping for money is not an option for us,” stressed Barnard. “The way we have to do this is ensure we are doing the right thing for our patients and for the taxpayers.”