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Are The Baptist Hospital Layoffs Just The Beginning?

12:09 AM, Nov 15, 2012   |    comments
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Greensboro, NC -- Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, one of the largest employers in the Piedmont, will cut 950 positions.

The jobs will be cut between now and next June.

Baptist CEO Dr. John McConnell said there really isn't one reason behind the decision. He says there have been reductions in research funding from the federal government, reductions in how much money it will get reimbursed by Medicare and Medicaid. And he said the ballooning cost of health care means the medical center has to do more with less.

We talked with Dr. Eric Ford a professor at UNCG to ask if this is just the beginning.

He says the Affordable Care Act has forced hospitals to brace for anticipated cuts in reimbursements. Those are not expected to last for more than a year, but they will have that year to account for.

He also says there are indeed fewer federal grants being awarded. And hospitals are being forced to invest in certain equipment to keep up with the electronic records mandate that's included in the healtcare reform measure.

Ford would not be surprised if more hospitals cut jobs or we see more medical providers merging.

In the long run, he believes the cuts will be unnecessary as healthcare reform improves efficiency and stablizes health costs.

WFMY News2

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