BRAWLEY — Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District (PMHD) eliminated 12 positions Thursday, March 19, in an effort to limit out-of-control costs to the hospital, according to PMHD CEO Larry Lewis.
Two of the employees transferred to other departments.
“Making organizational changes is probably the most difficult time of life for affected individuals and for leadership to face,” said Lewis. “Nothing is more difficult than affecting the individual lives that have committed so much to a service for others, especially in healthcare.”
Lewis said managed care becomes increasingly challenging on both funding available and utilization of healthcare services, and everyone must exercise a fiduciary responsibility with the community’s healthcare resources, assets, and people such as those at PMHD's hospital. While Pioneers, as well as other hospitals nationwide, have been reacting to decreases in funding levels by decreasing expenses for the last few years, it is even more difficult in areas of the country like Imperial County, where the highest concentrations of Medi-Cal patients are funded far below the rest of the country.
California was ranked the 47th lowest funded state in the country, per Medicaid Enroll 2014. Forty percent of our Imperial County’s population receives its healthcare from the Medi-Cal plan.
“With those changes, Pioneers has seen decreases in admissions and emergency room visits, as has the entire County over the past few years,” said Lewis. “While many efforts have been implemented to react to those changes, volume decreases continue. This resulted in a loss for the fiscal year ended June 2019 and is continuing through the eight months ended February 2020. While it is the last effort that anyone wants to implement, Pioneers did implement a reorganization plan to reduce the amount of administrative expense in the organization. The focus of the reorganization was on leadership and administrative staff totaling a net reduction of 10 employees (of more than 870 employees overall). Those affected do not directly impact any direct patient care. While this impact is very small, looking at only numbers, the emotional impact to those affected is difficult. The impact of this change places Pioneers in a sound financial position as we continue to enhance and improve services for the communities of Imperial County.”
There are no patient care changes as a result of the reorganization.
“It’s the most difficult time in a person’s career and a sad time for those who worked around them,” added Lewis. “Their contribution to Pioneers’ success was important in our growth. On behalf of the 870 colleagues at Pioneers, we wish these 10 affected people the best.”