Hospital leadership receiving 10% pay cut to reduce operation costs

As part of a continued effort to recover costs from low reimbursement levels and , all supervisory positions at Grays Harbor Community Hospital will see a 10% reduction in salary.

The reduction, announced this week to staff, will take effect starting January 1.

Only employees in salaried supervisor roles will be seeing this reduction, including administrative staff such as CEO Tom Jenson and COO Larry Kahl.

This will not be impacting Harbor Medical Group staff or members of UFCW 21.

It is not known at this time the exact amount this reduction would save.

According to the hospital, the reduction is currently set to be re-evaluated in April to see if it will need to be extended.

The hospital group has announced numerous changes starting soon to recoup costs lost in reimbursements from Medicare/Medicaid patients and the rising costs of medical procedures, including using the program Truven to analyze how each department is operating and if it can be done more efficiently.

As part of the changes, the hospital has stated that they would be looking to reduce staffing by approximately 20 FTE(Full Time Employees). This change could come via reduced hours for some staff, through attrition by not filling a position left open through a retirement or resignation, outsourcing departments as they did with the from their Health Information Management department, or other adjustments that may make the greatest adjustment with the least impact to operations.

These changes are in addition to changes made over the last few years.

This includes changing to a Public Hospital to take advantage of Sole Community Hospital reimbursement rates and recently announcing changes to pursue status as a 49-bed Sole Community Hospital.

Prior to 2010, the facility was consistently showing profits according to Tom Jensen in 2014. He said at that time that a lot of the problems came after 2008 when local mills began closing and less people were under private insurance plans.

Under the proposed 49-bed Sole Community Hospital status, the administration has said that reimbursement rates will even out to represent costs. This change will turn current inpatient beds into “observation” beds, which fall under a different pricing structure. This could bring additional costs to patients who use the services.

As of October 1, the hospital began operating as a Sole Community Hospital, although the process to become classified under the new designation is approximately 18-24 months from being fully implemented.

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