Press-Republican

Local News

December 8, 2012

Adirondack Health cuts 17 jobs

(Continued)

SARANAC LAKE —

LOOKING AHEAD

Ralph said the restructuring plan at Adirondack Health will provide a responsible and sound foundation for moving forward.

“I am confident we will overcome these financial challenges to ensure that we can deliver leading care to the region for another hundred years,” she said.

Margaret Sorensen, chief nursing officer for Adirondack Health, said they will work closely with employees to help them transition to other positions they may qualify for in the system. 

Cuts to hospital and health-center staff are necessary due to the labor-intensive nature of the health-care profession, officials said.

UNHAPPY NEWS

William Van Slyke is vice president of communications for the Healthcare Association of New York State, a lobbying group based in Rensselaer for the statewide medical-care industry.

“I can tell you this announcement will join a growing list of unhappy news across the state,” he told the Press-Republican.

“We’re are tracking this, and so far, through 2012, New York has lost nearly 1,000 health-care jobs. These are across-the-board cuts, from direct-care staff to administration and, really, everything in-between.”

That measure reflects the loss at Adirondack Health.

The 17 layoffs in Saranac Lake and surrounding communities include nurses and management staff, Riccio said.

“The reason for it is no mystery,” Van Slyke said.

Two-thirds of hospitals in New York are losing money.

“Health-care reimbursement — the government programs in particular, through Medicare and Medicaid — continue to pay less than the cost of care,” he said. “So on virtually every Medicaid and Medicare service a hospital provides, they lose money. 

“And if 65 to 75 percent of your operating costs is labor, when your revenue continues to fall off, there are very few options. It is absolutely agonizing for these hospitals. The last thing a hospital wants to do is eliminate jobs.”

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