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December 8, 2012

Adirondack Health cuts 17 jobs

SARANAC LAKE — A long-term fiscal restructuring plan for Adirondack Health includes 17 layoffs.

Some of those jobs, along with eight openings that will remain vacant, will be cut from Adirondack Medical Center and others from the system’s satellite health centers and nursing homes, hospital spokesman Joe Riccio said Friday.

In addition, salaries for all management and leadership staff are frozen through 2013.

“In some cases, personnel have the option of pursuing other openings within the organization,” hospital said in a news release.

OTHER SAVINGS

The hospital is moving drug purchases through what is called the 340-B federal drug-pricing program to lower costs and achieve $1.5 million in savings.

All medical-transcription services are being switched over to a specialty firm to save another $250,000.

And Adirondack Health plans to ask the nursing and commercial-food-workers’ unions to reopen their contracts.

PATIENT CARE

The restructured fiscal focus looks to preserve core patient-care services.

Riccio said in an interview that the staffing cuts will not have any effect on patient care.

“We provide best-in-class health care to the people of the Adirondacks,” Adirondack Health President and CEO Chandler Ralph said in a statement. “But we have been losing money on many services at an unsustainable rate.

“The health-care reimbursement system is broken, and rather than being rewarded for our commitment to the region, hospitals and health systems nationwide are being financially penalized.”

Last year, 59 percent of all hospitals in New York experienced a negative bottom line, Riccio said in the news release.

“Despite this trend, Adirondack Health has a $120 million annual impact on the local economy — a responsibility it takes very seriously.”

CVPH Medical Center in Plattsburgh also recently announced staff layoffs and other cost-cutting measures.

Alice Hyde Medical Center in Malone laid off 12 people and closed 13 unfilled full-time positions last spring.

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