Vidant Health Expects 175 Positions Cut, Surplus Reduced In 2015

Vidant Health says it expects full time positions will be eliminated and predicts its surplus for the coming year will be cut in half due to changes brought on by the Affordable Care Act.

The hospital system, which owns eight hospitals in Eastern Carolina, including Vidant Medical Center in Greenville, approved its 2015 operational plan Tuesday.

Vidant says it has seen significant cuts to reimbursements from both Medicare and Medicaid. It is predicting an operating profit of $44.6 million and an operating margin of 1.8%, which is less than half of what was budgeted this year, according to a news release.

Vidant is not-for-profit, and any surplus is put back into the health system.

The health system has 10,572 full-time employees and when asked if any employees would be eliminated, Vidant says it's expected they will need approximately 175 fewer positions, which they call "full time equivalents", in the coming year.

"FTEs are not necessarily people; they are positions. A reduction in FTEs can be achieved through attrition and incurring less overtime. Staffing is primarily based on patient volume and as patient volumes go down, we adjust staffing accordingly," said a Vidant spokeswoman.

Vidant says at the start of the 2014 budget year it had 10,748 full-time positions, 2013 had 10,774, while in 2012 the health system had 10,350 positions.

As for employee pay raises, Vidant says those decisions will be made later this year.

The system says it plans to invest $128.3 million next year for capital improvements, including a new cancer center, information systems, along with normal equipment replacement and upgrades. It says if further reductions in reimbursement occur, some of these capital projects would be at risk.