HOUSTON (FOX 26) - One of Houston’s largest employers, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, is cutting 5 percent of its workforce. About 900 people are being laid off. The cancer center employs 20,000 people but 5 percent of those workers will find out over the course of the next week if they are being let go, including a number of people in finance and some executives.
”About 12% of the folks effected have titles in the managerial or leadership roles,” explains MD Anderson CFO Dan Fontaine.
M.D. Anderson president Ronald DePhino blames the need to lay off 900 employees on escalating health care costs, reductions in reimbursement of care and expanding health care needs for aging Americans.
In March 2016, MD Anderson implemented the Electronic Health Record System. Before doing so the hospital increased staff and began seeing less patients. ”We dialed back on the number of patients to ensure we would deliver safe and effective care, then slowly ramp up in a conservative way for us to be able to get back,” explains DePhino.
”That’s not coming back quite as quickly as we wanted to but compare December to December and we’re probably about 95% of where we were a year ago,” adds Fontaine.
Although the hospital has partnerships across the country the layoffs are only taking place in Houston. We’re told workers will receive severance, assistance finding another job and counseling coping with job loss, if necessary. Hospital administrators want to assure patients quality care will not be sacrificed.
”If we’re going to put ourselves in a position of having financial security to be here for patients for years to come we’ve got to take these steps now,” says Fontaine.
MD Anderson hopes to save $120 million over the next year by laying off 900 people. No inpatient nurses, nor clinical care physicians will lose their jobs.