KentuckyOne Health announces layoffs but releases no details

ctruman@herald-leader.comFebruary 18, 2014 

KentuckyOne Health announced Tuesday that it will lay off employees, but it didn't release details about the workforce reduction.

A statement posted on the company's employee website states: "The current systemwide staff reductions will generally be complete by the end of February."

It also says KentuckyOne will provide severance pay based on factors including length of service; free outplacement services, including résumé writing and interviewing skills; and extended Employee Assistance Program benefits to allow for free counseling and referral services after the layoff.

"As difficult as it is to say goodbye to our colleagues, we must keep our focus on providing high-quality care and services to our communities," the statement said.

In a statement sent to reporters Tuesday, KentuckyOne Health said that staff reductions are difficult but necessary to "reach our goal to become a fully integrated, financially stable health system within the next two years."

On Feb. 7, President and CEO Ruth Brinkley said in a statement on the employee website, "The changes in health care are greater and have come faster than we expected. ... We are now paid based on the quality and efficiency of the care we provide, not how much care we provide."

Brinkley said then that the company would take action "to improve our performance now and over the long term, balancing access, quality and cost."

Brinkley told the Herald-Leader editorial board in late January that the organization, which employs 15,000 people, is facing a $218 million deficit and was looking at cutting staff and reducing the number of acute-care beds.

KentuckyOne Health was formed in early 2012, when Jewish Hospital and St. Mary's HealthCare and St. Joseph Health System combined. In late 2012, the organization formed a partnership with University of Louisville Hospital.

The company operates hospitals around Kentucky, including St. Joseph Hospital, St. Joseph East and the Women's Hospital at St. Joseph East in Lexington. KentuckyOne also operates St. Joseph hospitals in Berea, Jessamine County, London, Martin and Mount Sterling.

Cheryl Truman: (859) 231-3202. Twitter: @CherylTruman.

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