175 to 185 Hoag hospital employees in Newport Beach and Irvine, including secretaries, nursing assistants, respiratory therapists, nutritionists and transporters have been laid off. They received the notices the week of September 20th that they had two weeks before their time as Hoag employees would end. The unpredictably of this is astounding since Hoag has not has a mass amount of layoffs in 15 years.
According to Liz Dixon, an RN at Hoag Hospital of Newport Beach for the last 15 years, part of the reason may be that most medical personal encourage patients to seek outpatient surgery as well as many other outpatient procedures due to the considerably lower cost for patients. This creates less work for hospital employees and a smaller need for new ones. Also the economy, healthcare reform, and lower government reimbursements are at fault.
Nina Robinson, spokeswoman for Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian in Newport Beach stated, “What we could not predict was how the combination of the weak economy, high unemployment and the shift in the way insurance companies pay for care would force us to take action sooner than anticipated and accelerate our transition plans.”
Mrs. Dixon says she is very thankful to still have her job at Hoag, and although the layoffs of about 3.5% of the Hoag Hospital staff affected many, she says there are a few things Hoag is doing to make it a little easier for those at a loss, including offering free help to make new resumes as well as providing employees 63 and older with early retirement.