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Presence Health to lay off 250 to stem red ink

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The Chicago-based Presence Health  hospital system plans to lay off 250 employees over the next three months as part of a cost-slashing program stemming from a higher-than-expected loss last year — red ink  that has been reported on this Web site.

The Catholic-affiliated Presence said Wednesday that it had a $185.6 million operating loss  in 2015, compared with a loss of $12.7 million the year before. One-time charges, including a $53 million write-off of overdue patient bills, accounted for about 60 percent of the operating loss.

The job cuts are part of  CEO Michael Englehart’s aggressive effort to turn around Presence’s financial performance over the next two years, the Chicago Tribune noted. He replaced Sandra Bruce on Oct. 1 as head of the 11-hospital system, created in 2011 by the merger of Provena Health and Resurrection Health Care.

The system also won’t fill about 450 jobs that had been  expected to become vacant this year through attrition. The total cut of about 700 positions by year’s end is expected to save the system about $50 million, said Mr.  Englehart.

He said that the  job losses would be concentrated in corporate and support areas rather than in clinicians,.


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