Layoffs Hit Group Health in Washington and Boston Children’s Hospital

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley ...

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley speaking at Faneuil Hall in Boston (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Hunnewell Building at Boston Children's Ho...

The Hunnewell Building at Boston Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Topics: Health Costs, Marketplace, States, Hospitals, Insurance

Sep 20, 2012

Group Health Cooperative, a leader in innovations, insures about 600,000 in Washington state.

The Seattle Times: Group Health Announces Layoffs, Cuts
Group Health Cooperative, recognized as a leader in health-care innovations and patient satisfaction, says it must cut $250 million over the next 16 months through layoffs, better cost control and some reorganization at the top. As part of those changes, Richard Magnuson, executive vice president and chief financial and administrative officer, will soon leave the organization. CEO Scott Armstrong says he intends to create a new CFO position focused solely on financial targets. Group Health, which insures about 600,000 people in Washington and has annual revenues of $3.5 billion, is aiming to climb back up to a 3 percent operating margin, Armstrong said in a Friday memo to staff, first reported by the Puget Sound Business Journal (Ostrom, 9/19).

Also, in Boston

WBUR: Boston Children’s Hospital Cuts 255 Jobs, Lays Off 45 Staffers
WBUR’s Martha Bebinger reports that top management at Boston Children’s Hospital sent word to employees today that the hospital was cutting a total of 255 positions, most through attrition but 45 through elimination. Savings total $89.5 million, for a 3% margin (Bebinger, 9/19).

The Boston Globe: 45 Workers To Lose Their Jobs At Boston Children’s Hospital
Children’s has been moving aggressively to reduce expenses over the past two years since it was identified by state Attorney General Martha Coakley as one of the most expensive hospitals in Massachusetts. It has cut fees to private insurers and Medicaid managed care programs by lowering charges for lab tests, doctor appointments, imaging, surgery, and hospital admissions (Weisman, 9/19).

This is part of Kaiser Health News‘ Daily Report – a summary of health policy coverage from more than 300 news organizations. The full summary of the day’s news can be found here and you can sign up for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report here. In addition, our staff of reporters and correspondents file original stories each day, which you can find on our home page.

Boston Skyline

Boston Skyline (Photo credit: brentdanley)


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