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Brigham announces big buyouts; layoffs come next

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Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, although it is profitable,  is offering voluntary buyouts to 1,600 workers to curb costs. And it says that layoffs are likely later this year, with the number depending on how  many employees agree to be  bought out.

Brigham officials said the institution, part of Partners HealthCare,  feels squeezed by flattening payments from insurers and Medicaid and Medicare as labor and other costs are growing. Those other costs include those stemming from  a $510 million new building  and a $335 million new software system.

Brigham said that employees must be 60 or older to be eligible for the offer, which includes one year of base pay. But 5,300 physicians, faculty (Brigham is a teaching hospital for the Harvard Medical School), and research staff — will be excluded from the offer.

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