Yuma Regional Medical Center to cut jobs

Yuma Regional Medical Center to cut jobs

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Yuma--Yuma Regional Medical Center is cutting more than a 100 jobs and will freeze pension funds in order to relieve some of the financial pressure they are experiencing.

"We had a really bad year financially," YRMC's CEO Pat Walz said.

Walz said the hospital took a hit after cuts were made to the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System and federal health care reform.

"As the only hospital when those patients get sick, they still have to be taken care of, so we're taking care of them in our emergency room," Walz said.  "We have a charity care policy that kind of mirror AHCCCS. So if you're eligible for AHCCS but your not covered, then we will write off your bill."

He said the charity bill went from $20 million dollars last year up to $40 million dollars for the first couple months this year.

"It's a significant shortfall," he said.

He said by the end of September 30th, a total of 130 jobs will be cut from the hospital.

Some of the positions include, management service representatives, paramedics and patient safety companions who represent the largest chunk of layoffs.

Waltz said YRMC also had to freeze employees' pension plans. He said there are too many variables that make it difficult for the hospital to support.

He said the cost went from $8 million to $19 million this year.

"We didn't eliminate the pension plan. We transferred it from a frozen benefit plan over to a defined contribution plan," he said. "So we're still contributing money to people's retirement, which is less volatile because it doesn't rely on the stock market, doesn't rely on the federal government and doesn't rely on actuaries to tell us how much to set aside."

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