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Beth Israel cuts jobs and closes patient unit


Beth Israel cuts jobs and closes patient unit

Excerpts from the Globe’s health care blog.

Responding to a “small dip’’ in patient admissions, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center has laid off 40 to 50 employees and closed a 24-bed unit, executives said.

The hospital, which has about 9,000 employees, said in March that it planned to eliminate roughly 15 jobs, but that number has grown.

Spokeswoman Judy Glasser said Wednesday that the layoffs “were across the board’’ and include nurses, patient transporters, and support staff.

Glasser said Beth Israel Deaconess “remains strong financially. There are some adjustments we are making as part of good stewardship,’’ she said. Inpatient admissions fell about 1 percent in March, while outpatient visits grew about 7 percent.

The Department of Medicine also is facing a budget shortfall as doctors’ fees drop, and some divisions have cut physician salaries by 2 percent, while others have eliminated parking benefits and money for travel to conferences, Glasser said. She expects those cuts to be restored.

Hospitals across the state have been cutting jobs amid pressure from insurers and government officials to reduce their costs.

In the past few months, UMass Memorial Health Care shed 700 to 900 jobs, about 6 percent of its workforce, while Baystate Health, the Springfield parent of Bay State Medical Center and two other Western Massachusetts hospitals, cut 354 jobs, or about 3.5 percent of its payroll.

Boston Medical Center said that it would shut down its 12-bed acute-injury rehabilitation unit and outpatient clinic, laying off about 30 nurses and therapists, and that it would dismantle its training program for young doctors entering the field.