- Randy Tucker Staff Writer
Hospice of Dayton on Tuesday said it will lay off a dozen employees this month in response to a continuing decline in the number of patients it serves and cuts to Medicare reimbursements.
“As we look to 2014, we are faced with reduced reimbursement due to sequestration, and a declining patient census compared to prior years,” said Amy Wagner, chief human resources and compliance officer. “Our (patient) census, like many other hospice providers around the country, has experienced a decline, not due to a smaller number of admissions, but due to shorter lengths of stay.”
The nonprofit’s average daily census fell from more than 700 in 2012 to just more than 600 by the end of last year, Wagner said, and almost half of its hospice patients stayed in the program for seven days or less.
Hospice of Dayton — which in addition to hospice offers inpatient and in-home services, including assisted living and extended care in an eight-county service area — became affiliated with Hospice of Miami County last August, creating the largest hospice in the Miami Valley.
But the staff reductions have nothing to do with the partnership, Wagner said, and instead are the direct result of shorter patient stays and a 2 percent cut to Medicare reimbursements included in the automatic federal budget cuts, known as sequestration.
“We are two separate organizations,” she said. “This is about Hospice of Dayton.”
The latest round of layoffs, which follow seven job cuts last September, include mostly administrative positions and complimentary care positions, such as massage therapists. The cuts equal less than 2 percent of the nonprofit’s total staff of more than 600 full- and part-time workers, Wagner said.
“Our goal is to maintain as many positions as possible to ensure our ability to continue to deliver superior care and superior services for our patients and families,” she said.