The 38 Largest Layoffs of the Year

I once thought that hospitals and health systems were the most secure segment in the health care arena, but it doesn't look that way anymore.

A story in Becker’s Hospital CEO Report for December 29, 2014, lists hospitals and health systems that announced layoffs in 2014. Each of these layoffs involved at least 100 positions. Many of the layoffs were a result of declining volume or reduced reimbursements, especially for government programs. What does all this mean for the future of health care employment? Is this just normal activity as communities change, or does it suggest that the financial underpinning for health care delivery is crumbling? As a conservative, I want to put the blame on government trying to do too much, but I know it is not that simple.

I once thought that hospitals and health systems were the most secure segment in the health care arena, but it doesn’t look that way anymore. Often, my hospital pharmacy friends wanted to suggest that because they worked in a nonprofit sector, their employers did what was best, not just what would make money. They wanted to criticize the “for-profit community pharmacy sector,” especially the corporate sector, for making good business decisions that focused on the bottom line instead of the patient. However, this story reminds us that all segments of health care must focus first on the bottom line, because you can’t provide any care if you are not in business.

One thing that this story makes clear is that no job lasts a lifetime. Changes occur for many reasons, so you need to be prepared to leave a job and you always need to be developing new skill sets to make you a desirable employee for another employer. There are and will be many good jobs in health care for the prepared person. Rather than become discouraged by reductions in force, see them as opportunities to match your skill sets with a new employer. Timing is critical when you make a change. It’s not easy to know when to make a change, I have found, but you will find clarity when you take the time to think about it and when you seek outside advice.