TOWN OF WALLKILL – Orange Regional Medical Center in the Town of Wallkill will lay off 80 full-time equivalent positions and Catskill Regional Medical Center in Harris will lay off 60 full-time equivalent positions. In total, the hospitals must find cuts of $17 million. Both hospitals fall under the umbrella of the Greater Hudson Valley Health System, which announced the cuts on Monday due to substantial reductions in reimbursement from the federal and state governments and decreases in revenue caused by healthcare reform.
Hospital spokesman Rob Lee said patient care remains their top priority.
“Patient safety and quality care is paramount to the entire organization and will remain a priority,” said Lee. “Our focus is not to affect quality patient care, but to enhance it in any way we can.”
“We are making every effort to minimize the impact within nursing and departments that provide direct patient care,” said health system President Scott Batulis, who is also president of Orange Regional Medical Center. “Federal sequestration cuts and other major reimbursement reductions hit hard and fast; without any transition plan or conversion funding that would have allowed us to reduce costs through attribution or other means.”
At Catskill Regional, revenue has declined due to government cuts and lower patient volume. Batulis said that hospital is going to restructure and downsize management and non-nursing areas to reduce expense by $5 million a year.
At Orange Regional, expenses for employee wages and benefits, medical supplies and prescription drugs have increased by $12 million with no revenue increase expected due to the direct reimbursement cuts. As a result, that hospital has to reduce costs by $12 million to make up the shortfall.
Combined, staffing reductions are five percent of the hospital system’s workforce. No other staff reductions are expected at this time.
Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney (D-18) said he is “deeply concerned about the disastrous real-life effects of last Congress’ sequester on hardworking Hudson Valley families.”
Maloney said Democrats and Republicans “must get together and fix the arbitrary cuts that are hurting our communities.”