Ogdensburg hospital lays off six employees, cuts nine positions in wake of federal cuts
Monday, December 3, 2012 - 5:37 pm

OGDENSBURG -- Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center has laid-off six employees and eliminated nine positions to balance its $93 million budget.

The positions affected are a mixture of clinical, clerical and managerial jobs, said spokeswoman Laura Shea.

Federal cuts to reimbursement are behind the cuts, she said.

So far this year, Claxton-Hepburn has provided $950,000 in charity care, a figure that has nearly doubled since last year, according a release issued by Shea.

Claxton-Hepburn is faced with balancing the costs of providing care with these declining reimbursements. Through October, growth in operating expenses has exceeded patient care revenues.

“These economic pressures require Claxton-Hepburn to implement a plan that is difficult but necessary to ensure a strong future for the medical center,” Mark Webster, CHMC President said in a press release. “The plan allows us to reallocate staff to help improve efficiencies, bringing staffing levels more in line with patient demands.”

Officials said the reduction in staff will not hinder Claxton-Hepburn ability to provide the same level of care to the community that it has in the past.

The cuts will take effect Dec. 3.

In addition to the staff reduction, all hospital departments have been asked to identify other ways to decrease expenses and grow revenues as part of a profitability plan that began implementation in July.

Webster said Claxton-Hepburn is well positioned for the future despite the challenges of the current changes in health care.

Established in 1886, Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center employs approximately 671 full and part-time people with an annual payroll of $54,250,000.