Shifting patient-volume trends push costs above revenue
ST. HELENA — The Northern California Network of Adventist Health has laid off 48 employees this year across its St. Helena region, which includes Vallejo, St. Helena and Clearlake, in an effort to close a budget gap of $6.48 million across three campuses.
Twenty-nine layoffs occurred at the Napa Valley campus in Deer Park, where the budget gap is $3.78 million, while there were 12 at St. Helena Hospital Clear Lake and seven at St. Helena Hospital Center Behavioral Health in Vallejo, according to spokesman Joshua Cowan.
The 48 layoffs across the region created monthly cost reductions of approximately $259,000, or roughly $3.1 million a year. Some open positions were left unfilled or will be restructured to reduce costs by an additional $402,700 per month, Mr. Cowan said.
Decreases in patient volumes, coupled with an increase in uninsured patients and an uptick in behavioral-health patients, are contributing to the budget shortfall across the regional network, forcing the Roseville-based health system to eliminate employees in plant maintenance, nutritional services, administration and outpatient centers.
No departments or services have been eliminated, according to Adventist Health. Payroll and benefits are the system’s single biggest expenses, making up 49 percent of the budget.
The health system, which operates 19 hospitals, 14 home care agencies and more than 150 clinics across four states, is seeking to reduce costs elsewhere, including with vendors, pharmaceutical costs and other areas.
Adventist Health’s closest competitor to the south, St. Joseph Health-operated Queen of the Valley Medical Center, also undertook similar measures earlier this year, eliminating 55 positions to help shore up a budget deficit of about $8.3 million.
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