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Ministry Health Care cutting over 200 jobs, closing Mercy Medical Center's sub-acute care in Oshkosh

Jun. 19, 2013
 

Mercy Medical Centerís sub-acute care unit will close later this month as the Oshkosh hospitalís parent organization completes a reorganization that cut 225 to 250 jobs system-wide.

Ministry Health Care announced plans to restructure its operations in late May in response to high-deductible insurance plans reducing demand for physician and outpatient services and a $10 million annual reduction in Medicare payments related to federal budget cuts. The organization operates 15 hospitals and 47 clinics and employs about 12,000 people.

In Oshkosh, Mercy Medical Center admitted its last patients to the sub-acute care unit on June 4 and will close the unit permanently on June 28. Ministry Health Director of Public Relations Geoffrey Huys said the organization is working with other community organizations that provide short-term rehabilitation services to ensure Mercy patients receive the necessary care.

The American Health Care Association defines sub-acute care as services for patients who require hospitalization for illness or injury but do not need intensive or invasive procedures. Examples cited in U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources literature include brain injury rehabilitation, stroke and orthopedic programs, complex wound care and post-surgical recovery programs.

The sub-acute unitís closure will not affect the inpatient rehabilitation unit located on the same floor. Mercy Medical Center will continue to provide rehabilitation care for hospital patients.

In May, Ministry indicated the system-wide impact of the restructuring would impact 225 to 250 employees. Huys would not disclose how many Mercy Medical Center employees were directly affected.

In written responses provided via e-mail, Huys said a good number of the impacted positions were not completely eliminated, but had work hours adjusted based on patient volumes. Huys added some employees were offered the opportunity to apply for other positions in the Ministry system.

Huys declined requests from Northwestern Media for further details on the cuts and their impact on local staffing and operations at Mercy Medical Center and other Affinity Health System operations.

Jeff Bollier writes for Northwestern Media, Oshkosh

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