Greenville Health System plans to eliminate more than 400 positions in the face of a $16 million shortfall, officials said Tuesday.
To address the loss, which accrued in the first quarter of the fiscal year ending Jan. 1, GHS has developed a plan that also includes reducing the capital budget by $39 million, officials said.
“The initial action plans call for eliminating roughly 410 positions,” said Greg Rusnak, chief operating officer, “but more half of these positions will be the result of normal attrition, not filling open vacancies and the possible implementation of a voluntary exit incentive program.”
Rusnak said positions don’t necessarily mean people, adding that the number could fluctuate depending on the financial outlook and cost-cutting measures.
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GHS, which has about 15,000 employees, has spent hundreds of millions acquiring physician practices, expanding its provider network and installing a new IT system among other investments.
The Epic IT system alone — which was purchased to allow the hospital to integrate records on all of its campuses, including its 175 medical practices — cost well over $100 million, officials said last fall when approving the $2.2 billion 2016 budget.
That budget called for expanding existing physician practices, investing in technology, new operating rooms and another 594 jobs.
Those and other investments, in combination with lower than expected patient volumes, resulted in the current financial situation, Rusnak said.
The investments are needed to prepare for a value-based reimbursement system in which payment is based on a hospital’s ability to keep people healthy and out of the hospital as opposed to the fee-for-service model which drives up the cost of health care by paying for more services, he said.
“For GHS to stay on our course, we must remain flexible and committed to our mission and vision,” he said. “We must continue making transformative investments that advance our strategic priorities. We are focused on positioning GHS for success both now and in the future.”
Additional steps to address the shortfall will be taken throughout the year, officials said.