SHORTFALL: Vidant laying off nearly 200 employees

Published: Feb. 12, 2020 at 5:47 PM EST
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Vidant Health says nearly 200 workers will be laid-off because of a budget shortfall.

In an email obtained by WITN, Dr. Michael Waldrum said the first steps to eliminate the shortfall was to reduce costs, implement operational efficiencies and to discontinue recruitment and hiring for certain non-patient care positions.

Waldrum said layoffs became necessary. "Today, we are announcing the difficult decision to implement a workforce reduction which includes separating 191 team members," Waldrum said in the email to employees.

The hospital system had an $18 million budget shortfall during the first quarter of FY20.

Waldrum said the positions will be on the business and administration side of the health care system.

He said 82 positions are coming from corporate, 75 at Vidant Medical Center in Greenville, 11 from Vidant Medical Group, seven at Vidant Beaufort Hospital, four each at Vidant Edgecombe and Vidant-Roanoke-Chowan hospitals, three at Vidant North Hospital, two each at Vidant Chowan and Vidant Duplin hospitals, and one at The Outer Banks Hospital.

No jobs will be cut at Vidant Bertie Hospital, Waldrum said.

Impacted employees will be given a severance package, the amount which will be determined by length of service.

Previous Story

Vidant Health says it has begun looking into options related to reduction and consolidation of its resources.

In an email sent to employees from CEO Dr. Michael Waldrum, an assessment of Vidant Health's workforce was included as well.

Vidant Health says it will provide severance benefits and PTO payout equal to 100 percent of accrued PTO.

Vidant Health Email to Employees:

"On Feb. 12, I provided an email update on how the challenges of delivering rural health care have impacted Vidant Health’s financial position. While beds are full and patient volumes are up, net revenue has declined and costs associated with serving our mission have increased. This resulted in an $18 million budget shortfall during the first quarter of FY20.

To strengthen our financial position and continue to deliver on our mission, we initiated a financial performance improvement process. All areas within our organization were reviewed to ensure we are making the best use of our resources through reduction, consolidation and alignment, which included an assessment of our workforce.

Executive leaders were asked to carefully review the function and positions within their areas to determine how work could be consolidated, restructured or disseminated across teams, without impacting the quality of care provided to patients. To do so, we are using a process that was developed and reviewed by Human Resources and Legal, where all levels in the organization are being evaluated through the same assessment process.

The focus is on positions and work processes, not on team members. Therefore, at this time, we do not know who will be impacted by the reduction. While most team members will not be directly affected, making decisions that impact even one team member’s life is very difficult and is not something we take lightly.

I deeply value the contributions made by everyone on the Vidant team – who include our friends, families and neighbors. To support those impacted, Vidant will provide severance benefits, PTO payout equal to 100% of accrued PTO, comprehensive career counselling services and Employee Assistance Program support.

I understand the stress that can come with large organizational changes. Please keep in mind that rumors and speculation are neither helpful nor kind during this difficult time. I will continue to communicate as more information becomes available.

I am deeply appreciative to all team members and providers who support our region with quality care. This is a challenging time; but we are a resilient organization and as a team, I am confident in our ability to emerge stronger.

Thank you for all that you do.

Michael Waldrum, MD, MSc, MBA

Chief Executive Officer

Vidant Health"

Previous Story

Vidant Health says that its first quarter of fiscal year 2020 saw a significant budget shortfall.

We asked Vidant what that specific number is but they said they are only providing a statement at this time.

Vidant Health Statement:

"Vidant Health understands—and continues to be transparent about—the unique challenges of delivering health care for eastern North Carolina. These challenges include a high burden of disease, an underserved population, a growing number of patients relying on Medicare and Medicaid and a lack of focus on rural health care policy. In addition, there are more than one million people in North Carolina living without health insurance.

Vidant is feeling the impact of the realities of delivering rural health care, which includes changes in reimbursement and increased costs associated with serving our mission. As a result, Vidant experienced a significant budget shortfall for the first quarter of fiscal year 2020. We are working to address the shortfall by exploring a number of options to include reducing expenses by ceasing discretionary spending, implementing process improvements and a reduction in workforce - this will not impact patient care at this time.

Despite these challenges, Vidant will stay true to improving the health and well-being of eastern North Carolina. The communities we serve depend on us to protect their health care."