D-Day Today for KentuckyOne Health?

Waiting on KentuckyOne Downsizing Day.

By all accounts, today is the day KentuckyOne Health will begin to reveal the first steps of its plan to decrease expenditures by $217 million before the end of Fiscal Year 2015. Specific details were not offered at the time the cuts were announced, but nothing was taken off the table. It seems likely that some hospitals or outpatient facilities will be closed or sold. We should expect to see clinical programs eliminated or consolidated rather than trying to offer everything everywhere. We will surely see terminations and reassignment of staff members.

None of this is in intrinsically inappropriate. KentuckyOne has to balance its books. There is much duplication of clinical services in Kentucky, but unfortunately also many areas with limited resources. The challenge for KentuckyOne is to achieve a balance of downsizing, consolidation, and redistribution of services in a way that does not give the appearance of compromising their goal of providing excellent care to Kentuckians at prices they can afford. I wish KentuckyOne well. One of my principle objections to KentuckyOne’s operations is that it is using its publicly funded healthcare system in public facilities as a vehicle to promote the religious objectives of its owners. It may even be possible that some of KentuckyOne’s financial problems stem from its position on religion-based healthcare. That may be a problem KentuckyOne cannot fix on its own.

Help needed from readers.
I need some help from my readers. It will take some time for the traditional media to discern what is happening around the state. Please help me collect information in a more timely way. If you have information that you can share, please let us know. If you wish to make your information public, you may use the comment function of this Blog. It is not necessary to enter a screen name or your email address. Email addresses are never displayed but could allow me to reply to you privately. As always, if you wish, you may contact me confidentially at phasselbacher@khpi.org, or by telephone 502 802-5092. Do not contact KHPI from your work phone or email.

Peter Hasselbacher, MD
President, KHPI
February 17, 2014

20 thoughts on “D-Day Today for KentuckyOne Health?”

  1. CHI is still buying up hospital groups. Does anyone think they might regret investing in KyOne?

    1. CHI didn’t really “invest” in KYOne except for UofL. What they might regret is merging CARITAS with JHHS. JHHS and CARITAS were both money loosing systems and their former facilities that now constituate the Louisville market of KYOne are still not financially solvent.

    1. I know that the 6 East unit at Jewish has completely closed and personally know 40 people that have been laid off.

  2. My contacts are telling me that layoffs of individual employees began in earnest yesterday, Friday, Feb 21. I am told that with private security and police on hand, that some employees were told at the end of the day to gather their things and were escorted to their cars. I am told that units being cut included respiratory therapy at Jewish Hospital East, and assorted technician and lab workers at Sts. Mary and Elizabeth. I have no knowledge of any layoffs at Jewish Hospital.

    A reliable source tells me that one of the KentuckyOne hospitals in Jefferson or the immediately surrounding counties would be will be sold later this year, but I do not yet have independent confirmation of that or any other frank hospital closing at this time. The closing of two units at Our Lady of Peace was confirmed to the Legislature last week.

    These sorts of things tend to happen on a Friday to ease into the news cycle. I expect that other reporting sources will fill in additional details for us next week. So far I have not seen any notice in other media, but my sources have been pretty accurate in the past. None of this is unexpected, given announcements by KentuckyOne management that no units were going to be spared. If I have been misinformed, I hope someone will correct me.

  3. Can anyone tell us what the endpoint is if Kentucky One doesn’t reach it’s cost-reduction goal of $218 mil? I haven’t heard anything about the repercussions if it is not met. Will they get the boot from CHI? CHI continues to purchase hospital systems. And…they are the majority owners of KyOne–what must the minority owners be thinking? Could KyOne just be a bad investment?

    1. I doubt the minority owner, The Jewish Heritage Foundation, is all that worried about financial performance. If they were worried that much about profit they wouldn’t have bought Standard Country Club. If you [remember] back, a for-profit health system tried to buy what was at the time JHHS, but I have no idea if KYOne/CHI would be open to that.

  4. Here is what KentuckyOne Physicians have been told recently.

    A Message from Alagia, MD
    There will be significant changes within the KentuckyOne system in the months ahead as we redesign how we serve our communities. Our ambulatory facilities and primary care network will become increasingly important as we reconfigure to manage the health of populations. We will have fewer acute care beds. We will integrate and consolidate services across the system and continue to focus on delivering high quality care in all locations.

    During this transition, which we know will be disruptive and
    uncomfortable, I ask you to keep an open mind and your energy squarely focused on the care and safety of our patients.

    1. Hospital employees who try to keep up with health care policy issues understand that primary care and prevention are key, but until those services are actually available, people will continue to flee to emergency and acute services. And there they will be met by inadequate and unsafe care. The transition, when implemented in such a rash and desperate manner as KyOne is attempting, is hazardous.

  5. Here is what KentuckyOne sent out to its employees today.

    All KentuckyOne Health
    The many steps we have taken so far across KentuckyOne Health to reduce our expenses to match our revenue have not been enough. We are saddened that we must now eliminate some positions across KentuckyOne.
    The current systemwide staff reductions will generally be complete by the end of February.
    Our organization is our people, making this especially difficult, though necessary.
    These reductions, in addition to becoming more operationally efficient, will help us reverse the system’s financial losses to sustain KentuckyOne into the future.

    To support those who will be leaving the organization, KentuckyOne will provide:
    • Severance pay based on a number of factors, unique to each employee, including length of service 
    • Free outplacement services, including resume writing and interviewing skills
    • Information about community resources that assist with career opportunities
    • Information about how to handle job loss and its effect on the individual and family
    • Extended Employee Assistance Program (EAP) benefits to allow for free counseling and referral services after leaving employment

    Employees with questions may go to their leader or HR business partner, and may seek support through the EAP. The EAP is available to employees in all roles, including those departing or continuing with KentuckyOne, as well as to physicians and leaders.
    As difficult as it is to say goodbye to our colleagues, we must keep our focus on providing high quality care and services to our communities.
    KentuckyOne will continue to evaluate performance improvement opportunities within individual services and functions to achieve our goal.

    Together we will reach our goal for KentuckyOne within the next two years to become:
    • Fully integrated
    • Financially stable
    • Highly effective in providing the highest quality care to the people across the Commonwealth
    We will become the system we need to be to achieve our Purpose — to bring wellness, healing and hope to all, including the underserved.

    1. Read that statement to your selves in a robotic voice and it will seem eerily reminiscent of an old-school alien invasion movie :-)

  6. New requirements today indicate that if an employee resigns or is terminated, CHI has the right to “de-provision” his/her personal mobile devices and wipe them. Of everything.

  7. With the announcement of impending staffing ncuts at many of the KyOne facilities the first question that comes to my mind is; how will this impact patient care? The most recent information I have is that they will start at a few of the Louisville facilities by cutting Respiratory Therapists. Not only will this impact patient safety but it will also affect the remaining healthcare providers as they will be expected to not only complete their work, but also the work of the soon-to-be missing Respiratory Therapist. This will take time to impact the patient satisfaction surveys, but I believe it ultimately will. This cost cutting strategy has been tried multiple times over the years and it has rarely worked for any length of time.

    1. I do not know the Lexington market well but I expect cuts will be spread throughout the KentuckyOne network .

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