Local hospital lays off 28, gives remaining employees 5% paycut


Web Editor - Ryan Burkett

MURRAY, Ky. - Employees at a local hospital are having their paychecks cut, while some of their co-workers are now out of a job.

In a letter, Murray-Calloway County Hospital informed its employees yesterday that they will receive five percent less in their paychecks beginning with their March 28 checks.

CEO Jerry Penner confirmed to WPSD Local 6 that it's all an effort to decrease operating expenses due to a decrease in the number of patients, cuts in state Medicaid and the budget sequester's Medicare cuts.

MCCH says it is $7.5 million below budgeted numbers for inpatient volume this fiscal year, which began on October 1. Medicaid eimbursements have also declined and are expected to continue to drop. It is also waiting to receive about $3 million owed from Kentucky's Medicaid program.

The hospital says the Affordable Care Act and the budget sequester played roles in the declining revenue.

Penner says 28 people were laid off.

Below is a statement from Penner:

“We deeply regret the pain and anguish this difficult decision will cause for so many of our co-workers, but sustaining the fiscal health of MCCH so it can and will continue to ensure quality health care for Calloway County and our surrounding region is our ultimate responsibility. Everything has been carefully planned and there will be no impact to the quality of care --- we focused on eliminating overhead and ensured that nursing staff ratios remain the same so that patients will continue to receive the great care of which they have become accustomed at our hospital.

“We are responding to the turbulent healthcare environment and are taking the appropriate fiscal actions necessary to adjust to declining volumes and reimbursements. Departments have done their best to contain costs and productivity, however its’ simply just not enough. Hospitals are having to do more, and with less money to be in compliance with new regulations set forth in the Affordable Care Act.  The healthcare environment is extremely uncertain but we will continue to strive to do our best as always.”