That includes one of the area's largest employers, Mercy Medical System. The company is cutting between two and three hundred jobs across seven states.
In Springfield, Missouri, the company cites lack of Medicaid expansion and the changing climate for hospitals. According to the company, most of the layoffs involve non patient-related jobs. However, the cuts come as no surprise to some hospital leaders.
"As the affordable care act was envisioned, there was to be an expansion of people with insurance to help offset the cost of the cuts," says Mary Beckersenior, Senior Vice President of the Missouri Hospital Association. "And Missouri has now gone two years without expanding Medicaid, and so the hospitals are still incurring the cuts without an offset in the uninsured."
We're told the balance sheets at Mercy hospitals are being reduced. The company says some of the job cuts include positions like marketing and communications.
We reached out to Mercy Medical Center here in Northwest Arkansas. The hospital responded with the following statement:
Only a handful of our co-workers here will be affected by this restructuring and no direct patient care areas are being affected. Most of the positions are in St. Louis where the majority of Mercy's support staff is located.
The community can expect to see a continued growth in mercy's presence in NWA as we focus our resources on patient care and ease of access to that care.
In the past ten months, Mercy has opened clinics in Bentonville, Centerton, Rogers and Bella Vista and launched a new orthopedic and senior behavioral program. Mercy Hospital is also expanding with additional patient rooms currently under construction.
Mercy Hospital NWA