Tufts Medical Center layoffs 2024 – Discontinued News

Tufts Medicine will lay off 174 employees due to industry issues, according to a May 21 statement. The layoffs, which have varied effective dates, will primarily affect administrative and non-direct patient care positions. A spokesperson said that some leadership positions were also affected. Tufts Medical Center layoffs effects employees, and also on healthcare sector.

Tufts Medical Center is a 15-building campus in Boston, Massachusetts. It is a downtown hospital situated between Chinatown and the Boston Theater District. The hospital is an open-to-the-community, full-service medical facility. It is also the primary teaching hospital for Tufts University’s Schools of Medicine and Dental Medicine.  In this article, let us explore the layoffs at Tufts Medical Center.

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Layoffs at health systems

Hospitals and health systems were struggling through a financially disastrous 2022. So, in 2023, layoff announcements in the healthcare sector were raised.

According to recent research, healthcare organizations have cut costs by 99% year over year in the first 11 months of 2023. Unsurprisingly, the number of layoffs from hospitals and health systems at that time greatly exceeded 2022’s full-year totals by summer.

Companies are making job cuts of all sizes. It ranges from large health systems reorganizing administrative expenses to smaller hospitals reducing services due to finances.

Administrative staff and upper-level management bear the brunt of the cuts rather than patient-facing workers. Many firms paired their layoff announcements with notices that they would actively seek nurses and other clinical positions. Thus, steady hiring trends also remain in great demand.

Tufts Medicine let off 70 “primarily administrative” employees and cut off 170 vacant positions in 2023. The system employs about 13,000 employees.

Also, Tufts intends to transfer lab operations and assets to Labcorp. It affects 242 of the system’s employees, with the majority expected to find similar jobs with Labcorp.

Tufts Medicine layoffs

Tufts Medicine stated in January 2023 that it would be laying off around 240 employees due to financial difficulties. At the time, about 170 of the posts were vacant. A spokesperson said 70 “primarily administrative” staff would be let go. According to a spokesperson,

“Like numerous hospitals in the Commonwealth and across the country, Tufts Medicine has faced major financial difficulties.We have carefully executed cost-control measures across the system. But we must now make the extremely difficult decision to cut our workforce.”

These difficulties are mainly due to:

  • post-pandemic capacity constraints, 
  • reliance on higher-cost contract labor, 
  • nursing, and 
  • delays in discharging patients for post-acute care. 

As mentioned, Tufts Medicine, formerly known as Wellforce, will continue to employ nearly 13,000 people at its different facilities. It includes 

  • Tufts Medical Center in Boston, 
  • Lawrence Memorial Hospital, 
  • Lowell General Hospital, and
  •  Melrose Wakefield Hospital.

“This choice will not have an impact on patient care,” the spokesperson stated. “Tufts Medicine is going to work closely with external partners. This is to deal with the financial crisis affecting the entire healthcare system.”

In August 2023, Tufts Medicine sold its outreach laboratory business to a lab supplier based in North Carolina. After that, Tufts Medicine planned to hire roughly 600 employees. According to the local health system, there was a belief that they would receive similar deals from their new employer.

Like other health systems, Tufts uses outpatient diagnostic testing at its facilities. This is used to screen patients for various diseases and provide a diagnosis. Tufts said on August 3 that it would sell its outreach laboratory business to Labcorp of Burlington, North Carolina, to relieve financial pressure on the health system. Hospitals throughout the country are struggling post-COVID.

Tufts Medicine lays off in 2024

Tufts Medical Center layoffs

Tufts Medicine is laying off around 1.3 percent of its 13,000-person workforce as it faces financial challenges. According to a Tufts representative, most of the 174 staff who will be laid off are in “administrative and non-direct patient care roles.” He added,

“We continue to make steady progress towards our goal of financial recovery. But, like many other health systems, we still face challenges from ongoing capacity issues, high contract labor expenses, and rising supply chain costs.

Tufts Medicine’s president and CEO is Michael Dandorph. He blamed the system’s financial difficulties on “reimbursement for our services failing to keep pace with expenses.” He mentioned this in a letter to workers on May 21, 2024.

Government-funded Medicare and Medicaid cover a high percentage of Tuft’s patients. They often pay out less than commercial insurance.

“We cannot and will not rely solely on cuts to fund our work.” Our future will be driven primarily by improved access and strategic growth,” Dandorph wrote. “Also, we are working to lower our reliance on travel staffing and improve patient flow at our inpatient and ambulatory sites. We are optimizing other processes to capture revenue and work as efficiently as possible.”

Conclusion

The wave of job losses comes after the healthcare system faced a financial crisis last year. It raced to raise enough cash flow to pay off lenders.

Tufts is still in the red for the fiscal year ending in September 2023. It recorded an operating deficit of roughly $171 million. But it is a brighter picture than the same period the previous year when it faced an operating shortfall of nearly $400 million.

In his letter to employees, Dandorph stated that the system is “making good progress” toward improving its fiscal outlook.

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