Times: Swedish Medical Center facing layoffs

Last week, the Seattle Times reported that Swedish Medical Center may be facing layoffs as the company continues to lose $250,000 per day. The institution has about 11,000 employees at several campuses across the region, including the hospital on Cherry Hill.

The announcement comes months after Swedish and the Catholic-affiliated Providence Health & Services “joined forces” in a deal that would keep Swedish facilities operating under their current names.

From the Times:

Swedish Medical Center delivered some grim news to employees Monday: Swedish is losing $250,000 a day and likely will have to lay off workers.

“We all know this is not a sustainable situation, and we need to respond quickly and thoughtfully to correct this trend,” Swedish CEO Kevin Brown said in a memo to physicians and volunteers.

Brown said patient volumes and revenues are significantly lower than Swedish had projected.

In a Q&A to staff, Swedish spokeswoman Melissa Tizon addressed the question of layoffs.

“Given the extent of our financial losses, we will need to make some very difficult decisions in the next few weeks,” Tizon said. “We will need to reduce all of our costs, and that will likely include reducing staffing to match current volumes.”

The losses, Brown said, are a continuation of a trend Swedish saw in late 2011, when it experienced three months of consecutive loss. In January and February of this year alone, it has had an operating loss of $16 million, he said.

14 thoughts on “Times: Swedish Medical Center facing layoffs

  1. I am sad to hear about anybody possibly losing their job, but maybe this will solve the issue of Swedish employees taking up all the residential parking in squire park.

  2. That is an amazing comment, ‘sad’, and self serving all in one! I hope these folks that serve their community in a thankless profession will be ok. I am sure that parking is the last thing on their minds!

  3. Hey cd resident, Please post your address so that the next time I get called in on a moment’s notice to help angioplasty someone who is having a heart attack I don’t inconvenience you by parking in front of your house. Have a great day!

  4. Serve the community? Thankless profession? What? Apparently you aren’t too aware of the current economic conditions, and the pay that these medical personnel working in a for-profit industry receive.

    Thankless… you have to be kidding me.

  5. LOL, clearl you don’t know anyone that has signed up to be a nurse of healthcare provider in your circle. Long hours, overtime, abuse from executives. Malpractice, nasty patients, the list goes on and on. Yes. THANKLESS.

  6. First, sorry to health care professionals for someone’s parking comment.

    But why are patient volumes significantly lower? Are people going elsewhere? Are they staying away because they are not able to afford care? Were the numbers inflated to make the merger more attractive to Providence? There were some who objected to Swedish’s elimination of abortion services, but I am assuming that would not keep a significant number of patients away?

  7. Further down, the Times story has some ideas for why patient volumes are lower: “Major factors, Brown said, include higher health-insurance deductibles and uncertainty in the job market, which has led more people to delay health care because of out-of-pocket expenses or because they don’t want to take time away from work

    In addition, the health-care system is seeing fewer patients with commercial insurance and more patients who are uninsured or covered by Medicare or Medicaid, which “do not adequately cover the cost of providing care,” Brown told the staff.”

  8. There is also the issue of the CEO who received a huge sign on and moving bonus. He came in with a crack financial team who invested hospital money in the stock market resulting in losing a bunch, causing cancelled pensions and layoffs. Then took a huge severance bonus when he quit Swedish took a job Providence and negotiated a “merger.”

  9. This is an issue that is affecting almost ALL hospitals, not just Swedish, including the one where I work. Volumes are typically down everywhere between 5&-9%. Most speculate that loss of employer-sponsored coverage and/or the risk of losing coverage, and higher deductibles are keeping people away and deferring non-urgent procedures. In Swedish’s case the recently completed Issaquah hospital could not have been opened at a worse time, as it is draining capital and not producing the expected revenue.

  10. Actually “Jackson” I wonder if you actually know anyone who is a nurse, or anyone in healthcare period. The nice nurse you had patch up your scrape and sent you on your way isn’t someone you “know”. My whole statement was based on knowing and actually WORKING within the industry. What do you do?

    These people are compensated at a much higher rate than most in the industry. Nursing is a industry that is still growing in demand unlike many other professions. They have jobs, insurance, and went through years of schooling that many did not pay for themselves and put themselves into a competitive program on purpose.

    You are seriously kidding yourself if you think these people are jostling for entry into competitive schooling here so they can be the first in line to do service to the community and be in a “thankless” profession out of the goodness of their hearts. They are in it so they can make that money in a field that continues to take them in. Am I saying they’re bad people? No, but stop putting things on a pedestal without knowing what you’re actually talking about.

  11. Fiscal Responsibility starts with Leadership, period. When Leadership of an organization overextends a business’s budget, they are practicing fiscal irresponsibility. I hope that lesson has been learned.

    Swedish Health Services will continue to be a reliable source to receive excellent healthcare. Why? Their Employees, of course.

  12. “Brummel” couldn’t have said it better, patient volumes are down EVERYWHERE. More people are losing their insurance coverage and won’t come in unless they have to. So, when they do come in, they’re sicker, and have to stay longer, all without any coverage, so hospitals absorb the cost (and other people’s health insurance absorbs the cost as well. That’s why healthcare is so expensive, because you’re not just paying for yourself, you’re paying for the 10 bums off the street that don’t have health insurance). All hospitals, nation-wide, have been affected. And, for the record, “Zebragirl”, Swedish still offers abortion services. We are maintaining all of our services as before, just operating under the financing of Providence, not their policies.