51 layoffs planned for money-losing Kern Medical Center

51 layoffs planned for money-losing Kern Medical Center »Play Video
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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — Planned layoffs were announced Thursday at the financially troubled Kern Medical Center.

New hospital leadership, who took over amid multimillion dollar monthly losses, is seeking the elimination of 111 positions, 51 of which would result in layoffs.

The layoffs would take place in August and impact "many hospital departments," KMC officials said in a news release, but they have plans to shutter two departments completely. The closures of home health and outpatient physical therapy were announced earlier this month.

The decisions on layoffs and department closures at the county-owned hospital are left to the Kern County Board of Supervisors. The hospital leadership will recommend the money-saving actions at the Board of Supervisors' June 17 meeting.

BOARD OF SUPERVISORS AGENDA, KMC JOBS ON THE CUT LIST >>

Hospital CEO Russell Judd said they "anticipated having to make a much deeper reduction" but changes that already took place got losses exceeding $3 million a month down to a $371,000 loss in April. The changes involved billing and collections, labor productivity management, stronger payor mix, and positive changes from the Affordable Care Act, according to KMC.

They implemented a "labor productivity system" at the end of February and reduced "full-time equivalent productive staff" to 1,289 from 1,416, saving $1.2 million per month.