Newly appointed hospital CEO Thomas Considine wrote a letter to employees stating that layoffs were necessary due to the “intolerable” staff-to-patient ratio of 17.1 employees per occupied bed. According to Considine, an efficient staffing level is 4.72.
Jeanne Otersen, a spokeswoman for the nurses union, estimated that the 230-bed hospital has been operating with an average of 30 to 50 occupied beds, a figure she said should be between 100 and 120.
Otersen said the total staff count of the hospital, including part-timers, was between 400 and 500.
In addition to the layoffs, managers will be taking one unpaid furlough day per pay period, effective immediately.
The hospital was purchased in 2010 by investment group MHA LLC for $17.5 million. As a for-profit enterprise, they reversed an operating loss of over $10 million to post an $11 million profit in their first year. However, annual audited financial reports required by the state were long delayed, with the first report submitted more than a year late and the second still not submitted, although it was due more than a year ago.
According to The Record, “a report on the hospital prepared by an outside consultant showed its finances to be in complete disarray,” and the hospital operated without a formal budget in 2013.
Considine said he expects the hospital to see an upturn in the fourth quarter of this year and that “2015 will be a great year.”