Asante to cut 94 staff, sell Hearthstone & Genesis

On Feb. 11, Asante Health System announced  that it would restructure some management functions, sell or close select non-hospital programs and services, and lay off several staff members in response to a deepening recession that has led to sharply declining financial results.

 

Asante leadership said in summer, 2008 that it would implement a new
organizational plan to concentrate on what it does best – provide
advanced, comprehensive, hospital-focused medical services to the over
550,000 residents in its nine-county service area. Leadership has been
reviewing all Asante service lines, programs, and departments to see if
they fit into this new organizational vision. The sharp declines
brought on by the recession have accelerated this process.


"These
decisions are very difficult and painful," said Roy Vinyard, president
and CEO. "But, they have to be made in order for us to stay viable and
continue to deliver on our promise to provide the highest quality,
critically needed, hospital-focused care that people in southern Oregon
and northern California require."
After reporting a deficit over
$1.2 million  at the beginning of its fiscal year, which began Oct. 1, 
Asante has experienced lower patient volumes, decreasing payments,
rapidly rising bad debt, and soaring charity care costs, leaving it
with a projected $15 million loss by Sept. 30.


"We have a
duty to the community to keep our hospitals strong," Vinyard
emphasized. "It’s tough, but when we have to choose between providing
the best possible hospital care at the bedside and non-hospital
entities, the choice is clear."
Changes will include:

  • The Asante management team will be reorganized and reduced by 14.
  • Hearthstone, a nursing home in Medford, will be listed for sale.Asante
    Home Care in Medford and Grants Pass will be listed for sale
  • Genesis, an in-patient and outpatient drug rehabilitation center, in Central Point will be closed by April 11.
  • The
    Early Learning Center, which provides daycare to 1.7 percent of
    Asante’s workforce and also physicians at RVMC, will be closed by Mar.
    27
  • Ashland Hand Clinic will be closed by April 11.
  • The Retired Seniors Volunteer Program (RSVP) in Grants Pass will be discontinued June 30
  • Valet service at RVMC will be discontinued April 17
  • Room service at Three River Community Hospital was discontinued Feb. 5
  • Fifty positions have been decreased in hours, equaling a reduction of 7.5 FTEs
  • An outpatient laboratory station in the Washington Outpatient Center will be closed by Feb. 20

In total, 94 employees, including 12 management staff members,
will be released from their current jobs as part of this
reorganization. Asante will provide severance packages as well as
assistance with finding new employment. They also intend to work
closely with potential buyers of Hearthstone and Asante Home Care to
retain the 220 people currently employed by these programs.


"I
realize that these decisions affect many who have worked hard and
dedicated their time and talents to Asante, and I appreciate the
wonderful contributions they have made. It is our sincere hope and
desire that, during these trying times, they will all find success in
their future endeavors," Vinyard said.

These announcements
follow initiatives announced previously that support the strategic
direction of Asante and address budget shortfalls. These changes
include: transitioning the Child Development Services program to the
Education Service District; freezing annual wage increases for
executives, directors, and managers; enacting a freeze on hiring,
travel, and capital purchase requests; delaying non-mandatory internal
education; eliminating 20 full-time positions in administration, human
resources, communications and marketing, foundation, guest services,
patient registration, and medical records; and leaving 80 open
positions – including two executive posts – unfilled.

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