Two metro hospitals cut hundreds of workersby Lorna Benson, Minnesota Public Radio
The troubled economy is taking a toll on two Twin Cities hospital. Both North Memorial Health Care in Robbinsdale and Park Nicollet Health Services will layoff a combined total of 613 workers.
St. Paul, Minn. — North Memorial Health Care in Robbinsdale is laying off up to 380 employees, which is about 7 percent of its workforce.
During the past six months, North Memorial says it has experienced a significant decline in patient volumes due to patients deferring elective procedures, and changing the way they seek health care services.
At the same time, the medical system has also seen a sharp increase in unpaid medical bills -- it's gone up 25 percent from this time last year.
Officials with North Memorial released a statement saying the staff reductions affect workers in all areas of the organization, and will not affect patient safety.
Park Nicollet Health Services says it will lay off 233 employees -- about 3 percent of its staff -- also due to a lower demand for health care services.
In addition, Park Nicollet will close its airport and occupational medicine clinic, and reduce some of the locations where patients see specialists.
Earlier this fall, Fairview Health System announced it was laying off up to 200 workers due to lower patient volumes.