By Max Hrenda
Citing financial constraints, Mountain States Health Alliance announced Wednesday it will eliminate 161 positions within its health care network.
Over the next 90 days, 116 people working within the MSHA network will lose their jobs, while an additional 45 vacant positions will be eliminated.
In that time frame, five people at Sycamore Shoals Hospital will lose their jobs.
The announcement was made via press release on Wednesday afternoon. In the release, MSHA CEO Alan Levine said the cuts, though regrettable, were necessary.
“It is the last thing we want to see happen, but hospitals are simply left with no choice but to react to these unprecedented challenges,” Levine said.
The announcement marks the second time in less than six months that MSHA has announced a reduction in positions. On Aug. 8, the Johnson City-based health care network announced that 200 positions would be absorbed through attrition, citing decreases in the reimbursement rates paid to hospitals by insurance companies.
Between March and August of 2013, MSHA reduced its staff by 330 positions for the same reason.
Wednesday’s release said the cuts were made to counter MSHA’s projected losses of approximately $30 million in annual revenues. Those losses were attributed to network hospitals’ declining in-patient volumes and reductions to reimbursement rates.
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