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Hospital sends buy-out notices

Providence Saint Joseph is suffering the same financial worries as other industries, officials say.

November 01, 2011|By Maria Hsin, maria.hsin@latimes.com

Voluntary buy-out notices have been mailed to full-time employees at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank as the organization attempts to cauterize financial wounds inflicted by the protracted recession, a spokeswoman said.

The notices were sent to several medical centers under Providence Health & Services Southern California, including Saint Joseph, last week, hospital spokeswoman Patricia Aidem said.

She declined to say how many buy-outs were needed to avoid layoffs.

“There’s no magic number,” Aidem said.

The staff reductions were needed to cope with the same economic challenges facing other industries, she said.

“The economy is hurting everyone and we’re looking at a way to cut back — obviously we don’t want to affect service,” Aidem said.

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Medi-Cal and Medicare reimbursements are down, Aidem added, so the hospital is “not paid as much per patient.”

“We don’t turn any patients away, so we make up the difference often times,” she said.

The number of affected employees was not immediately available, but Aidem said those who qualify will leave Providence by Nov. 30.

With 431 licensed beds, Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center bills itself as the second-largest hospital serving the San Fernando and Santa Clarita valleys.

The voluntary separation packages will provide severance pay, as well as bonuses based on years of service, according to a statement from the hospital.

Employees at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Tarzana, Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills, Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center in Torrance and in San Pedro also received buyout notices. So did workers at outpatient facilities and other programs, Aidem said.

“I received mine at home on Saturday,” she said.

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