October 10, 2013 10:18:31 AM
Carl Smith - [email protected]
OCH Regional Medical Center CEO Richard Hilton confirmed some hospital employees will see a slight reduction in pay and work hours as the company attempts to offset rising expenses and lower reimbursements for health care services.
A 5-percent pay cut will affect hourly employees who earn more than $8.50 an hour, while workers' 80-hour work weeks will be scaled back to 76 hours, Hilton said. The pay cut also applies to salaried workers.
The hospital is not expected to lay off employees.
Hilton said hospitals across the state and nation are attempting similar cost-saving moves as reimbursements for uncompensated care are decreasing and health care systems are approaching uncharted territory as more provisions of the Affordable Care Act begin.
"What we did is reflective of what every hospital in the country is going through now," he said. "Where the state of the healthcare industry is right now with hospitals gearing up for unknown impacts of health reform and the other financial issues, if we were the only hospital doing this, I'd say we were wrong. We're in the middle of it like everyone else is.
"We're accurately trying to project what are revenues are going to be. We really positioned ourselves to look critically at expenses and trim those down as a budgetary goal, but we fell short," Hilton added. "We said our choices that were left were layoffs or to have reductions. We chose reductions."
A detailed OCH budget was not available at press time.
Carl Smith covers Starkville and Oktibbeha County for The Dispatch. Follow him on Twitter @StarkDispatch