CONTACT: TOM MOORE
Joint Office for Planning, Marketing and Communications
8788 John Pappajohn Pavilion
Iowa City IA 52242
Release: May 20, 2002
UI Hospitals and Clinics to reduce staffing, preserve patient care quality
University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics officials Monday afternoon announced
plans to reduce operating expenses in the institution's fiscal year 2003 budget
by reducing general expenses such as travel, supplies and purchased services,
but also through staffing reductions. The staffing reductions are planned
primarily in non-direct patient care areas and will not affect bedside patient
Interim director and CEO Ann M. Rice said, "Our goal was to do everything
possible to avoid eliminating positions, but faced with expense increases
that exceed revenue increases, we could no longer meet that goal. We understand
and regret that this will affect peoples' lives, but we will do everything
possible to assist our staff during this time of transition."
Twenty-eight staff members are being contacted by their managers and Staff
Relations and Development liaisons regarding elimination of their assignments,
and three other staff members will be notified that their work hours will
be reduced. No employees have received layoff notices. Human resources staff
members from the University and UI Hospitals and Clinics will be working with
individuals to find other positions within UI Hospitals and Clinics or the
University, using vacancies when possible.
Overall, UI Hospitals and Clinics is permanently reducing its employment
base by 117.12 full-time equivalent positions, by eliminating assignments,
reducing work hours, attrition, eliminating or holding open unfilled positions,
and transferring work hours to grant funds.
"We targeted these staffing changes in non-direct patient care areas,
such as administrative support departments, in order to maintain nurse-to-patient
ratios and continue to provide the highest quality beside care," Rice
said. "We hope that these reductions will be the last for fiscal year
2003, but we cannot be assured of that because of the many uncertainties that
surround us, including the current state budget situation," she added.
UI Hospitals and Clinics are being affected by reductions in reimbursements
from major payers as well as cuts in the state's appropriation for the indigent
patient care program. As of March 31, 2002, financial data shows that expenses
at UI Hospitals and Clinics had increased 8 percent from the same time last
year, while revenues were up only 5.6 percent. The same scenario of expenses
exceeding revenues, despite an increase in patient volume, would continue
in fiscal year 2003 if the planned expense reductions were not carried out.
Despite planned staffing reductions in certain targeted areas, Diana Leventry,
director of staff relations and development, said employment opportunities
remain strong at UI Hospitals and Clinics for nurses, nursing assistants,
lab and radiology personnel, pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, and respiratory
care staff. "We continue to actively recruit health care professionals
in these areas and remain committed to providing competitive pay and benefits
and a rewarding work environment," she said.
UI Hospitals and Clinics employ approximately 7,200 people. The total budget
for the institution last fiscal year was $473.8 million. Of that total, $284.7
million was paid in salaries, wages and fringe benefits.
University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the
UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and University of Iowa
Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research
programs and services they provide. Visit UI Health Care online at www.uihealthcare.com.