Community Benefit, Not New Emergency Tower, Cause of Providence Everett Layoffs

September 14, 2011

Everett Economy, Everett Jobs

Providence Everett to be blessed

It's not the new tower, its Medicaid and charity care

The combination of 15 million dollars less in Medicaid reimbursements than budgeted and a 34 percent increase in charity care over the last year has Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett announcing the elimination of 150 – 175 positions.The Herald’s Julie Muhlstein broke the story yesterday online. Late yesterday afternoon I had a chance to talk with Providence spokesperson Teresa Wenta, who said, “we budgeted for the full impact of the tower, In fact, having the tower may soften the impact of the layoffs.” Wenta says its important to note that they are eliminating 150 – 175 positions, not people. She told me that the staffing formulas are complicated and they don’t yet know how many actual staffers will be affected. The layoffs are expected to be completed by the end of October. As far as the term “community benefit”, that’s a combination of the charity care that the hospital provides along with the costs of Medicaid expenses that are not reimbursed. Providence Regional Medical Center is also seeing a lower volume of patients than expected. Given the boom in the Everett area of medical facilities recently opened or under construction, I asked Wenta if she thought that there were too many medical facilities being built for our area. She replied that she could only speak to the Providence Regional Medical Center and that demand and projections for their facility were made more than a decade ago. Providence is one of the largest employers in Everett with more than three thousand employees.

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My Everett News is a hyperlocal news website featuring breaking news and events in Everett, WA. We also cover City of Everett information and items of interest to those who live and work in Everett. It's written by Leland Dart a former Snohomish County based radio reporter born and raised in Everett.

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One Response to “Community Benefit, Not New Emergency Tower, Cause of Providence Everett Layoffs”

  1. keepclam Says:

    For what it’s worth, the public testimony on the ongoing Providence Everett expansion called the hospital’s patient demand projections into question because the projections assumed no other additional medical facilities would be built by competitors despite a strong history of area hospital facilities built in the last few decades. The concern was documented and communicated into the public record, but went entirely unaddressed by the City or Providence.

    For the last three years Providence Everett has also been unsuccessfully trying to lease out the extra floor they built into the Cancer Center. Much of its Pacific Campus is not used for hospital space, but instead leased out to Bethany of the Northwest. The park & 13th & Colby is a result of previous aborted expansion plan, which was halted after the houses were removed. Providence testified repeatedly and specifically that if it purchased the EvCC athletic field it would not use that site for a hospital but for ancillary facilities only, but just over a year later applied (& later received permission) to put a second hospital tower on that very site. Providence has a visible history of botched & overreaching growth planning, and the impact of that has fallen on its residential neighbors, on its employees, and on everyone who pays for healthcare within the Providence Health & Services system across the western US.

    Good hospital; bad neighbor.