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Palo Alto County Hospital System Reduces Staff By 16 Full-time Employees

October 17, 2017
Emmetsburg News

Late in the week of Oct. 2, Palo Alto County Health Systems notified several employees that their position would be reduced or eliminated. The organization reduced total staff by 16 full-time equivalent employees which impacted 19 staff members. In June Palo Alto County Health System offered an early retirement package in which 6 individuals participated.

Palo Alto County Health Systems has had a challenging financial environment in the last two years. This is a result of several key factors that include declining patient visits, reduced Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement, physician departures and increased costs.

The financial challenges confronted by Critical Access Hospitals are a concern not only in Palo Alto County but throughout the United States. Unfortunately for Palo Alto County Health Systems and the entire healthcare industry, these challenges will not lessen.

"Reducing staff members was an extremely difficult decision. The dynamics in the healthcare industry are only going to become more challenging for hospitals over the next several years. I commend the Board for focusing on the long-term future of the organization in this uncertain time," stated Charles Kelch, Interim Administrator.

The hospital has a stable cash reserve however declining trends in revenue, the escalation of expenses, and two years of significant operating losses required difficult changes now to ensure the long-term viability of Palo Alto County Health Systems. Palo Alto Health Systems employs 263 staff members following the reduction in positions.



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