WFMY News2 reports in November 2012 Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, a large employer in Winston-Salem, NC, will cut 950 positions. The layoffs will happen between now and June 2013.
Baptist CEO Dr. John McConnell announced there isn’t one reason behind the job cuts. In 2008, John D. McConnell, MD, was named as the medical center’s first chief executive officer. The medical center is in the Piedmont Triad. The medical center has almost 90% of the area’s physicians listed among the “Best Doctors in America,” according to its website.
McConnell manages Wake Forest Baptist’s clinical, research, and academic aspects, and reports to the Medical Center’s board of directors.
The CEO reports there have been reductions in research funding from the federal government. The reductions in how much money the facility will get reimbursed by Medicare and Medicaid affects the business’ economics. The cost of health care increases translates to the medical center doing more with less.
Dr. Eric Ford, a professor at UNCG, says the Affordable Care Act has forced hospitals to plan for anticipated decreases in reimbursements. There are fewer federal grants being awarded. Hospitals are also facing challenging financials because of forced investments in certain equipment to keep up with the electronic records mandate that’s included in healthcare reform requirements. Ford forecasts more hospitals cutting jobs or medical providers merging. Ford believes the cuts will be unnecessary in the long run because healthcare reform improves efficiency and stabilizes health expenses.
Job cuts have forced some workers to work even while sick. MedPage Today reported in June 2012 that doctors have been going to the workplace while sick. The doctors know working while sick risks spreading infections to patients.
According to a 2010 poll of 150 members of the American College of Physicians, more than half of resident doctors admitted to working while suffering flu-like symptoms. Nearly 10 percent of those surveyed believed they at least once transmitted illness to a patient, according to researchers at the University of Chicago Medicine and Massachusetts General Hospital. The study was published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
The study may apply to all healthcare providers, noted Medpage Today. Researchers indicated that doctors not feeling well are also less productive when they go to work. These doctors are more likely to make mistakes.
McConnell is from Dallas. Previous to the medical center, he was executive vice president of health system affairs at University of Texas Southwestern since 2003. He is a well-known urologist who joined the UT Southwestern faculty in 1984.
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