Greensboro, NC -- Cone Health announced Wednesday they will eliminate 150 positions, but 300 total will be affected. Terry Akin, President and CEO of Cone said 150 of the positions are already vacant.
According to Akin, the layoffs were prompted because of the Affordable Care Act and actions in state legislature.
"We were left with no other choice. We felt like we were backed into a corner," explained Akin. "Our staff are our most precious resource, they also happen to be our most expensive resource. And there was just no way to get through that order of magnitude of challenge without making reductions in staffing."
Akin says Cone Health needs to reduce expenses by $30 million. $11 million of that will come from non-labor expense savings like consolidating services. The remaining $19 million will be cut from personnel expenses. That means 150 people of the health system's 10,000 employees will be laid off.
Employees who will be impacted are being notified over the 7-10 days and the layoffs will take effect within next 3 months, Akin confirmed.
There is no word yet on what positions will be cut.
WFMY News 2 received several calls and emails this week from people expressing their frustration with the region's largest health care provider's decision. They were particularly upset with that Cone Health is laying off workers after the recent completion of the new North Tower. The tower was the largest construction project in Cone Health's 60 year history, costing $200 million to build.
"We floated bonds for a large portion of the financing for the north tower. That financing has restrictions on what it can be used for. We cannot go to market to borrow money under those circumstances and then use to fund positions," explained Akin.
Akin added, "The trade-off is that is if we are going to survive as an organization, and continue to provide the services that we believe this community is entitled, we have to continue to make investments like we did in the North Tower, otherwise we have antiquated facilities and our ability to provide quality care is compromised."
Around the time the North Tower was completed, Cone Health said another project to renovate 80,000 square feet inside the hospital was expected to be completed by 2015. No cost estimate of the project was provided.
Read: Cone Health In The News
Cone Health provides service to Guilford, Forsyth, Rockingham, Alamance and Randolph Counties. They have more than 10,650 professionals, 1,000 physicians and 700 volunteers, according to their website. Alamance Regional merged with Cone Health in May 2013.
Cone Health changed its name from Moses Cone Health System in May 2011.
Related: In November 2012, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center announced they would eliminate 950 full-time positions by June 30, 2013.
WFMY News 2