Grays Harbor Community Hospital in Aberdeen is announcing the layoff of some employees from their Health Information management. A Press release from the hospital said its due to the higher population of Medicare and Medicaid patients in our area. That press release didn’t say how many employees were affected, citing privacy concerns.h A source tells us that 7 positions may be affected, however, some of those positions have union advantages.

The press release said that large and small health care systems are struggling in Washington State and nationwide as health care reform and reimbursements remain uncertain. Rural areas like ours are especially hard hit due to a higher population of Medicare and Medicaid patients.

As an example, on average Medicare and Medicaid provide an annual increase of approximately 1 percent when expenses increase anywhere from 3 to 8 percent. When 8 out of 10 patients at GHCH rely on these government programs for insurance, greater efficiency is required.

In order to mitigate the losses that this hospital has experienced we are forced to make difficult decisions regarding staffing. The changes to come are challenging but essential in order to keep the hospital healthy and viable for our community who rely on us for their health care needs.

For more than a year, every department of our organization has been going through a rigorous review of efficiencies in order to streamline our work flow, utilize supplies more effectively and improve processes for higher cost savings. Decisions made today are based on months of analysis and comparative data with like health care systems nationwide.

We recognize that this could create hardships for our employees as we move through this process. We have staff on hand to answer questions and services available for staff who need assistance. We feel strongly that our staff’s privacy and dignity is of utmost importance and deserves the highest amount of respect.

The care and wellness of our community remains a priority for our organization and we will continue our commitment to provide excellent care.