Southern Regional cuts 80 jobs amid restructuring

The parent company of Southern Regional Medical Center has cut 80 jobs as part of an organizational restructuring of the ailing Clayton County hospital, hospital officials announced late Wednesday.

Southern Regional Health System said the people impacted by the staff cuts were told this week. The cuts, which include management jobs, are throughout the health system.

“We have made a commitment to increase efficiencies and reduce costs,” Southern Regional CEO Kim Ryan said in a written statement released Wednesday. “Unfortunately, these measures required an organizational restructuring and the elimination of 80 positions, including management positions, throughout the health system.”

Hospital administrators also are starting programs that focus on quality improvements and restoration of surgical and other revenues that will help offset losses tied to uncompensated care. Ryan has been meeting with county and community leaders over the past few weeks in an effort to obtain more financial support. It was unclear whether that support would be in addition to a $50 million bailout approved by Clayton voters last year.

Ryan said the steps are necessary for the hospital’s long-term survival and sustainability. Hospital officials blamed the hospital’s problems on an increase in uncompensated care and Medicaid; a drop in managed care volume and patient care volume overall, especially surgical volumes; and cuts in federal and state funding.

“In making decisions on organizational changes, we considered the importance of maintaining facilities, safety and quality of care priorities,” Ryan said. “Of course, we would prefer to not be in the financial position we are in, and that’s why we’re also putting a focus on restoring revenues from patient care volume.”

Wednesday’s announcement comes a little over a week after an Atlanta Journal-Constitution investigation of the hospital. The investigation found a hospital on the brink of uncertainty. In addition to having been inundated with charity cases and those who can’t pay, the hospital has seen the paying patients with private insurance drop dramatically in recent years.

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