KentuckyOne Health confirms 500 layoffs; 200 jobs not filled

ctruman@herald-leader.comFebruary 28, 2014 

KentuckyOne Health — which announced planned layoffs in mid-February — said Friday that 500 employees had lost their jobs and 200 more jobs were left vacant.

The news was posted on a video on the health care company's website and featured KentuckyOne CEO Ruth Brinkley.

In the video, Brinkley said changes that the health care company is making "will result in additional difficult decisions regarding the way care is delivered. She also said, "It is difficult to tell how much we saved at this point."

Impact on patient care was "minimal," she said.

The company has established a temporary staffing pool because "volumes change consistently" in the number of patients served. Brinkley didn't say how large the staffing pool is, where it is used or what skills are included.

Also, she said some of the laid-off employees had found other jobs within KentuckyOne Health and that it will continue to consolidate services "where appropriate" and will soon announce a partnership that will increase primary care outreach and access, and improve its focus on wellness and prevention.

A company news release dated Thursday announced that the emergency room at Medical Center Jewish Northeast in Louisville will close April 1 "due to low demand for emergency services at that location."

The news release said emergency patients will be redirected to three nearby hospitals: Norton Brownsboro Hospital, 7 miles away; Medical Center Jewish East, 13 miles away; and Jewish Hospital Shelbyville, 19 miles away.

In its statement in mid-February, the company said staff reductions were necessary to "reach our goal to become a fully integrated, financially stable health system within the next two years."

Brinkley had previously said that KentuckyOne, which employs 15,000 people, faced 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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