Trinity Regional Medical Center, Fort Dodge, is turning its focus to saving jobs in the midst of an economic crisis.
Admissions to the medical center for the last eight months are running about 14 percent below 2007 levels, and the operating margin has fallen from nearly $4 million in 2007 to $1.2 million. Uncollectable bills being written off as charity increased 38 percent in 2008, as the facility wrote off nearly $10 million.
Trinity officials announced Tuesday that they will "realign" the workforce in an errort to preserve existing jobs while cutting costs. Several administrative and management positions will be affected, and some employees will be asked to move to fill current vacant positions instead of hiring new people. Non-clinical workers will be scheduled for eight hours less work per pay period, and workers 62 and over will be offered early retirement. Paid time off will be capped, 401K matching contributions will be cut in half and some pay practices will be modified. CEO Sue Thompson cited "extraordinary pressures" from the economy, and said the changes are being made to prevent future staff reductions. Patients should notice no reduction in the quality of their care as a result, she said.