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Ochsner laying off nearly 800 employees as healthcare costs soar

9 months 1 week 6 days ago Thursday, May 11 2023 May 11, 2023 May 11, 2023 7:45 PM May 11, 2023 in News
Source: WBRZ, The Advocate

One of Louisiana's largest private employers, Ochsner Health, is laying off 770 employees across Louisiana and Mississippi in its 42 hospitals and more than 200 urgent care and emergency centers.

An email sent to Ochsner staff reports that the layoffs represent 2% of the system's 38,000-person workforce. 

The cuts will not affect doctors, nurses, or other patient-facing staff. Ochsner is not closing or consolidating any of its facilities in Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Lake Charles, or Shreveport.

The layoffs are expected to save the system between $125 million and $150 million, according to The Advocate. They come amid soaring healthcare costs and Ochsner's first unprofitable year in more than a decade. 

"This is not a decision our executive leadership team takes lightly or one we ever wanted to make," a companywide email said. "It is the hardest change we have ever had to make at Ochsner, but one we must to ensure we continue to be a strong organization."

Read the full statement from the health system below.

Thank you for your inquiry. This is a difficult day at Ochsner, and our leadership team will not be granting interviews today because we are focused on supporting our team members right now. 

The message shared with Ochsner employees this morning from CEO Pete November is available here

For easy reference, we have also included some main points below. We thank you for your understanding and respect for our staff today and remind everyone that our hospitals and clinics continue to serve patients and that filming on-site is prohibited for their safety and privacy. If you have additional specific questions, please share them with us and we will do our best to respond. 

There are three key factors driving significant financial and operational pressure for healthcare providers across the country: increased labor costs, a nationwide shortage of patient care clinicians, and a weakened economy and high inflation, which has caused supply costs to escalate. 

Impacted positions are management and primarily non-direct patient care roles. No physicians are impacted by this reduction, and any impacted employees with active clinical credentials will be offered direct patient care roles. 

This absolutely will not impact our ability to care for our patients and communities.? Our patients and communities can continue to depend on us for the excellent, compassionate care they expect from Ochsner. 

There are no plans for an additional systemwide workforce reduction.  

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