According to an article in the Star-Telegram, Texas Health Resources is implementing its third round of job losses this year. More than 100 Texas Health Resources employees have suffered job losses this year, including 23 workers at the Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth.
The article said:
“The layoffs, announced to employees on Sept. 8, are an attempt to adjust the company’s work force to changing demands for patient care and increased charity care, particularly at the Fort Worth hospital, spokeswoman Whitney Jodry said…”This not going to impact patient care,” she said. “The company is not in trouble financially. We are just trying to be good stewards of what we have.”
Hospitals across the country are struggling financially, many of them facing bankruptcy as the number of revenue generating patients decline quickly. More Americans are facing job losses which translate into more unemployed Americans with no health insurance. Eventually those people need hospital treatment which is provided through the hospitals’ charity function; but most hospitals are not designed to take in the massive amounts of charity patients they are now seeing. According to state records, Texas Health Resources reported nearly $73 million in charity care, or about 4.7 percent of its net patient revenue, for 2007.
And that number is expected to increase as the number of job losses increase and the number of uninsured Americans continues to rise. How many of our hospitals will turn away Americans who need care; but lack health insurance as this crisis presses on? How many more Americans will be saddled with medical debt that jeopardizes their financial standing as more face job losses and higher insurance costs?