Valley Health reduction hits WV employees - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Valley Health reduction hits WV employees

Posted: Updated:
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Two arrested for robbery in Wyoming County

    Two arrested for robbery in Wyoming County

    Thursday, August 28 2014 11:07 AM EDT2014-08-28 15:07:14 GMT
    Two Arrested in Wyoming County for RobberyTwo Arrested in Wyoming County for Robbery
    Two men were arrested in Wyoming County for robbery. Joshua Sprouse and Jesse Sprouse are both in the Southern Regional Jail right now.Officials at Southern Regional Jail told us the Oceana Police Department arrested the two men Tuesday and charged them with robbery and petty larceny.Their bond is fifty $50,000 each.
    Two men were arrested in Wyoming County for robbery. Joshua Sprouse and Jesse Sprouse are both in the Southern Regional Jail right now.Officials at Southern Regional Jail told us the Oceana Police Department arrested the two men Tuesday and charged them with robbery and petty larceny.Their bond is fifty $50,000 each.
  • One Sent to the Hospital After Brutal Fight between Family Members

    One Sent to the Hospital After Brutal Fight between Family Members

    Thursday, August 28 2014 10:18 AM EDT2014-08-28 14:18:39 GMT
    Fayette County Emergency Dispatchers confirm that one person has been transported to the hospital after an unconfirmed stabbing in Mount Hope.
    Fayette County Emergency Dispatchers confirm that one person has been transported to the hospital after an unconfirmed stabbing in Mount Hope.
  • Search efforts to resume for missing pilot

    Search efforts to resume for missing pilot

    PHOTO COURTESY: WDBJPHOTO COURTESY: WDBJ
    A Virginia State Police spokeswoman says rescuers will resume searching for a pilot who went missing after an F-15 fighter jet crashed in a remote, heavily wooded area of western Virginia.
    A Virginia State Police spokeswoman says ground rescuers will resume searching for a pilot who went missing after an F-15 fighter jet crashed in a remote, heavily wooded area of western Virginia.

By MARLA PISCIOTTA
For The State Journal

For the second time in two years, Valley Health in Winchester, Va. has reduced its workforce.

Thirty-seven employees have been affected, with 33 losing their jobs and four others having their hours reduced in an effort to realign operating expenses.

"Each of our hospitals has seen position loss," Mark Merrill, CEO said.

Merrill said health care is undergoing the same transformation other industries have gone through.

"We'll see turbulence for the next few years," Merrill said.

The reduction of employees is across the organization from support and management to clinic positions.

"Twenty-five percent of those affected are at corporate level," Merrill said.

All six of its acute care hospitals including Hampshire Memorial Hospital in Romney and War Memorial Hospital in Berkeley Springs have been impacted by the cuts.

Valley employs approximately 5,000 and 1,250 of them are residents of West Virginia.

Merrill said the continued payment reductions set forth by the Affordable Care Act has caused payment reductions to the hospitals.

"The sequestration signed by Congress is expected to cause a 2 percent payment cut through 2014 and 2015," Merrill said. "It affects us to the tune of $5 million a year."

In addition, he said Medicaid in Virginia has frozen its rates.

"We are seeing increases of charity care and bad debt," he explained.

Merrill said West Virginia, though, is moving forward with Medicaid expansion.

In the past several years, money didn't seem to be much of a problem. Valley Health built Hampshire Memorial Hospital at a cost of $35 million, War Memorial Hospital at a cost of $35 million and expanded the north campus of Winchester Medical Center in Virginia with a $160 million price tag.

"We are also replacing Page Memorial Hospital, which will cost $35 million," Merrill said.

The staffing reduction includes nine members of management-level staff.

 Other changes at the Winchester, Va.-based health system include reducing and freezing the merit awards program and ongoing cuts to travel and other expenses.

"These actions are necessary as we seek to establish a new balance that brings services, staffing and overall costs in line with patient demand and reimbursement levels," Merrill said. "We are committed to serve our communities with high quality and safe patient care."