SSM Health Care announces job cuts

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Jim Leute
Friday, October 11, 2013

Facing financial and industry pressures, SSM Health Care has eliminated 146 positions in Wisconsin and 586 positions across its four-state system, according to a hospital spokeswoman.

One of the jobs affected is at St. Mary's Janesville Hospital, according to a state government notification.

Of the 146 jobs cut in Wisconsin, 108 were eliminated through attrition, said Kim Sveum, SSM's spokeswoman in Wisconsin. That leaves 38 employees who lost their jobs.

Sveum could not say how St. Mary's Janesville was affected, but in a required notification to local government, St. Mary's Hospital said 38 positions will be cut in Madison, two at St. Clare Hospital in Baraboo and one in Janesville, all cuts to start Dec. 9.

The Janesville position is listed as “supervisor-maintenance department.”

It was not immediately clear how the numbers in the SSM announcement jibe with the notice required by the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act and the state Business Closing and Mass Layoff Law.

“Bumping rights to not exist. There is no union affecting any of the affected employees,” according to the WARN notice.

“SSM Health Care is committed to providing exceptional, high-quality health care to the communities we serve,” the company said in a statement. “At present we, and other health care organizations, are facing unprecedented changes and challenges.

“These include, but are not limited to, a shift of patients from the inpatient setting to the outpatient setting, reduced reimbursements from federal payers, increased bad debt and charity care as well as the financial impacts that have come as a result of sequestration.”

The statement said SSM has taken a hard look at its organization and found ways to standardize and consolidate some administrative functions and organize departments in more efficient ways.

“Unfortunately, these consolidations, along with other necessary reductions, have resulted in the loss of approximately 1 percent of the total positions across SSM of Wisconsin,” the statement said. “Most of these are administrative positions, not directly involved with patient care. The majority of the reductions were achieved through attrition.”

SSM Health Care is based in St. Louis.

In Janesville, SSM opened its new hospital in January 2012.

Earlier this year, SSM and Dean Health System completed a merger that includes Dean Clinic-Janesville East, which is attached to the Janesville hospital.

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