PacifiCare to Lay Off 550 Workers
PacifiCare Health Systems Inc. has announced it will cut 400 jobs effective Jan. 2, the Orange County Register reports. Roughly 50% of the cuts will come from PacifCare's Orange County offices in Santa Ana and Cypress. In an attempt to "reduce its reliance on the low-margin Medicare sector," the "bulk of the layoffs" will include personnel from Secure Horizons, PacifiCare's Medicare HMO program, which has struggled, in large part, due to low government reimbursement rates. The layoffs constitute 6% of the 8,600-member work force at PacifiCare, which operates in nine states. The announcement follows the company's decisions earlier this year to withdraw from several Medicare markets across the country and to freeze enrollment in its Medicare program in 41 counties, including 24 in California (Wolfson, Orange County Register, 12/14).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.