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Jennie Stuart Medical Center eliminating 70 positions

Hopkinsville center sites regulatory and reimbursement challenges

HOPKINSVILLE, Ky. (Aug. 8, 2014) — Citing “significant regulatory and reimbursement challenges,” Jennie Stuart Medical Center in Hopkinsville announced on July 16 that it is eliminating 70 positions in an effort to increase efficiency.

Jennie Stuart Medical Center.
Jennie Stuart Medical Center.

“JSMC, like many hospitals nationwide, is facing significant regulatory and reimbursement challenges,” the hospital said in a statement. “We are adjusting to federal sequester cuts, declining Medicare reimbursement, an increasingly complex and restrictive Medicaid system, and a commercial insurance marketplace that is placing more of the burden of cost on its insureds.”

Despite fairly strong outpatient service volumes, the hospital finished the second quarter of 2014 with an operating loss. Though it was reiterated that the hospital’s financial position is solid, management said further steps are needed to reduce costs. In addition to employment cuts, the hospital is tightening travel and marketing budgets, reducing supply costs and renegotiating contracts with vendors.

The staff cuts will affect all departments, with the exception of physicians and surgeons, and will be achieved by the combination of an accelerated retirement program and layoffs.

A hospital spokesperson told The Kentucky New Era that “a large number” of the 70 people affected by the decision are “very, very close to retirement.” Approximately 800 people are currently employed at the 194-bed hospital, which serves a seven-county area.