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Calais - Due to a variety of factors influencing Calais Regional Hospital, including decreased volume, reduced reimbursement, and the nursing home closure, the hospital is implementing expense reductions. All staff, including leadership, will be affected in some way. A salary and pension match freeze has been put in place. A workforce reduction is also being implemented. The staff reductions are spread throughout the hospital through reduced hours and/or elimination of positions. In total 23 positions have been eliminated. Ten of these were vacant positions that will not be filled. Those losing their jobs are eligible to apply for any vacant position they meet the qualifications for.
Through the end of May, the hospital has experienced over a $1 million operating loss. This means, these actions taken are necessary to ensure the continued level of quality patient care provided by CRH staff, and to ensure that long-term community interests are best served. Responding to the change in the business of healthcare is necessary so that CRH may continue on its mission.
This proactive measure, however difficult, will ensure that Calais Regional Hospital continues to maintain a staffing level appropriate for the volume of patients being treated. “Quality patient care is always our first priority,” stated CEO Michael K. Lally. “None of the force reductions affect the quality of care or delivery of needed services to any of our patients. In fact, we are undertaking these measures to protect our core services in the face of mounting challenges to our industry.”
While these cost containment actions are consistent with national trends in the healthcare industry, it is always difficult to lay off personnel who have performed their jobs capably and professionally. This workforce reduction was not a decision arrived at quickly or without consideration for staff and patients.
Hospital staff has been notified of the reductions. The employees directly impacted were informed individually.
Other measures to help offset the impact of changes in patient volume and reduced reimbursement rates have been implemented as well. For example, expense reductions, contract renegotiations, evaluating vacancies for true need and communicating with local providers regarding services and capabilities are among other strategies already in place.