Metro to slash 450 jobs in effort to bolster bottom line

Metro has announced plans to cut hundreds of jobs in an effort to bolster their bottom line.

A total of 450 jobs will be cut. 150 of those are already vacant and won't be filled, which means 300 people currently employed at Metro will soon be without a job.

Metro brass Mark Moran says he wants to cut his budget by $30 million. He has already imposed a hiring freeze. Moran is the same man who is paying several high-priced consultants to fly in from places like Florida and Chicago to work at Metro. He is also still paying one of his former director's salary even though she no longer works at the hospital.

19 Action News was not satisfied with his response, so we went straight to the top Wednesday to get more answers about the hospital's financial woes.

The healthcare industry has been going through some very dramatic changes. Those words were spoken by Ron Fountain the Chairman of the Board at MetroHealth.

"I have been talking about it for a couple of years that we were going to have to face," Ronald Fountain said.

This is why 300 jobs are being cut.

Metro has announced plans to close 144 beds at a skilled nursing facility in Old Brooklyn within the next three months.

"We are on track to deliver 217,000 uncompensated visits this year, that's up 8%", said Metro CEO Mark Moran.

And it's up 35% from the year before. There is a reduction in the reimbursement rate and the increase of pharmaceuticals.

They saw this coming but did not budget for the enormous increase in the uninsured but they insist if you live in Cuyahoga County with or without money you will be cared for.

"Even though they may have COBRA once they lose all care or coverage they come here that's what we do," said Ronald Fountain.

County Executive Ed Fitzgerald says WE the taxpayers spend $36 million on the hospital and he is making sure they do right by the community

"We have a real interest. The county is the owner of the hospital we are the owners," said County Exec. Ed Fitzgerald.

Metro Statement:

This has been a challenging year financially for MetroHealth. Our uninsured patient visits have increased by 8% over 2010, our cost growth has outstripped reimbursement and our county subsidy was reduced by 10%. These factors have impacted our ability to meet our budget targets. As a result, our 2012 planning process includes targets that budget for reductions in our employee force.  
Clinical and administrative leadership are working hard to submit a 2012 budget that will leave MetroHealth clinically, operationally and financially sound. Plans are still being developed at this time and cuts will occur across the organization. 
We value the contribution of all MetroHealth employees and will look for ways to minimize the effects of this action. Every effort will be made to support employees affected by this transition. This operational change is crucial to ensuring the financial strength of MetroHealth while maintaining our mission.

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