CALIFORNIA PACIFIC: Cuts 100 Administrative Jobs
California Pacific Medical Center's decision to ax nearly 100 administrative jobs has nurses complaining that the cuts will stretch them too thin, the San Francisco Business Times reports. On the heels of last year's profit slide from $31 million to $27 million, hospital officials said patient revenue dipped in the first quarter of this year. As a result, the Business Times reports, the hospital's "financial turnaround" seems to be "losing steam." Hospital officials said they trimmed their staff by 80 full-time administrators in August and 18 in June, leaving nurses wondering if "this will only exacerbate the issues that have caused them to file several complaints at California Pacific." The California Nurses Association's Chuck Idelson said, "They've been short-staffed for a while and it's getting worse. If you're cutting ancillary staff, it makes it much harder for nurses to do their jobs." Prompted by health management consultants at the Hunter Group, the hospital has recently dropped its temporary help contracts, mandated paid time off and tried to lure patients to the hospitals. "We didn't cut fat," assured California Pacific's Alix Sabin, adding, "We haven't had fat since the Hunter Group ... came in. We're trying to sustain an even leaner organization." After laying off 1,500 of its 4,300 employees in 1994, staffing levels topped 4,500 several weeks ago, even as patient numbers dropped off, Sabin said. Those figures do not necessarily mean the hospital was overstaffed, said health care consultant Penny Stroud of Cattaneo & Stroud, adding, "Pretty much all hospitals are run close to the bone nowadays. And very few can afford significant layoffs without feeling the effects" (Bole, 8/16 issue).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.