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May 22nd, 2013

Greater Hudson Valley Health announces labor force reduction

MIDDLETOWN - The Greater Hudson Valley Health System (GHVHS) has announced that, due to substantial reductions in reimbursement from the federal and state governments, as well as other decreases in revenue caused by healthcare reform, that it has been forced to immediately reduce its labor force.

Catskill Regional Medical Center will be laying off the equivalent of 60 full-time positions. Orange Regional Medical Center will lay off the equivalent of 80 full-time positions.

GHVHS President & CEO, Scott Batulis said, "While we value every position within the System, we are making every effort to minimize the impact within nursing and departments that provide direct patient care. It is with heartfelt sadness that our need to reduce staffing has come at a time in which our highly productive workforce is ranked among the top 25% in productivity for hospitals across the nation. 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 attrition or other means."

At Catskill Regional, revenue has declined due to government cuts and lower patient volume. The hospital is therefore restructuring and downsizing management and non-nursing areas to reduce expense by $5M annually. At Orange Regional, expenses for employee wages and benefits, medical supplies and prescription drugs have increased by $12M with no revenue increase expected due to these direct reimbursement cuts. Therefore, Orange Regional has to reduce costs by $12M in order for the medical center to be able to make up this large shortfall. Combined, staffing reductions are 5.0% of the Greater Hudson Valley Health System’s total workforce. At this time, there are no plans for further staff reductions in the future.

Mr. Batulis stated, "We are committed and will work diligently to assist employees directly affected by this reduction in workforce. Our Human Resources Department will review open positions within the System and will also help to research career opportunities at other local healthcare organizations. Career counseling services will also be provided."

Employee forums are scheduled at both Catskill Regional Medical Center and Orange Regional Medical Center for employees to voice their concerns and ask questions any questions that they may have about this situation.

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