Hospitals Nation Wide Make Cost Cuts - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Hospitals Nation Wide Make Cost Cuts

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) - Officials at McLaren Hospital announced plans last week to cut the hours of many employees, and implement a limited number of layoffs. The Lansing based hospital is just one of many nationwide looking to trim their costs, and many say the measures come in response to changes in medical funding.

"Nurses I know have been cut. Either laid off or hours going from full time to part time," said Celestina Chippewa, a radiology assistant. Chippewa knows all to well the financial challenges facing Michigan hospitals.

She works at McLaren where a cost savings program has already begun.

"There's no question that every hospital in the state of Michigan is experiencing financial challenges," said David Finkbeiner, with the Michigan Health and Hospital Association.

Finkbeiner says because of sequester cuts and less federal funding, hospitals nationwide are forced to make up the difference. "At times, that does include cutting the number of people working at a hospital."

"These hospitals, they're doing what they need to make sure that the patient care comes first," said Jeff Breslin, the former president of the Michigan Nurses Association.

He says when considering budget cuts, often hospitals are too quick to let go of those who directly provide care to patients. "If we don't have nurses there, the patients won't get the care that they need and will have a lot of bad outcomes that could've been prevented. "

Breslin says while he understands hospitals have to make concessions, ultimately fewer nurses and staffmembers like Chippewa make hospitals less safe for patients.

Sparrow Hospital in Lansing sent the following statement to Six News:

"Sparrow, like virtually every hospital in the nation, is facing challenges brought on by the economy, shifts in the demand for services and national healthcare reform. These challenges are frequently leading to cost reduction measures at U.S. hospitals and Sparrow is no different."

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