LEBANON, PA – The Good Samaritan Health System continues to adjust to changing economic conditions. Today, The Good Samaritan Hospital eliminated approximately 50 positions, the majority of which are administrative and support personnel and do not directly affect the delivery of patient care. The total includes several vacant positions.
In recent months, the hospital has experienced a decline in inpatient admissions, which may be explained by a milder than expected flu season and patients postponing elective procedures. While outpatient services have increased significantly, the added revenues in this area have not been sufficient to offset dramatic increases in patient bad debts and free care and pension expenses. The increase in patient free care and bad debt relates to the overall deteriorating economic conditions, and the increase in pension expenses is attributable to the decline in the stock market, which has impacted the pension fund investments.
“We had hoped that we could make it through this economic downturn without having to eliminate a single job,” said Robert Longo, president and chief executive officer for the Good Samaritan Health System. “Although we had initiated several cost-cutting initiatives, revenues have simply not kept pace with expenses. We felt it was necessary to move decisively. These structural changes will ensure the availability of resources supporting the delivery of high-quality patient care to our community.”
Good Samaritan notified employees of the reorganization today and will provide severance packages and outplacement assistance to all employees affected by the changes.
The health system had previously announced a variety of initiatives to reduce or eliminate costs, including:
- Holding merit pay increases for salaried employees for one year
- Postponing capital expenditures
- Eliminating the use of (outside) temporary staff
“We have been through difficult times before,” Longo explained. “I am confident that our efforts to wisely manage our resources now will allow us to continue our mission to the community and to continue to develop future patient services as economic conditions improve.”
For 119 years, the Good Samaritan Health System (www.gshleb.org) has served the health care needs of Lebanon County. The Good Samaritan Hospital is a modern, fully-equipped, fully-accredited 172-bed acute care facility that offers complete inpatient and outpatient care, as well as an inpatient rehabilitation program. The health system also provides services at many other sites located throughout Lebanon County.