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University Hospitals eliminates more than 300 jobs

A photo of a University Hospitals sign outside their main campus near Cleveland's University Circle.
J. Nungesser
Ideastream Public Media
Recent layoffs announced by University Hospitals on June 19 will not impact patient care, the hospital system said in a news release.

University Hospitals, the second-largest employer in Northeast Ohio, announced Wednesday it was laying off more than 300 employees.

The "vast majority" of the eliminated positions were non-clinical leadership staff, the hospital said in a press release, adding the layoffs would not impact patient care.

"Thanks to a variety of changes, including increased access for patients and implementing a new electronic health records system, our revenue has increased nearly 9% year over year. But that growth is offset by soaring costs,” the release said. “As a result, this week we made the difficult decision to reduce the health system’s leadership structure.”

The layoffs reduce hospital leadership by over 10%, the hospital said.

“These decisions are never easy,” UH CEO Cliff Megerian said in a statement. “The important thing is that we make these strategic moves now so we can continue to serve our community and fulfill our mission for decades to come."

The hospital blamed rising deficits for the layoffs.

"Medicare reimbursement rates that are not keeping pace with rising costs are some of the reasons for these deficits," the release said. "UH, like health systems across the country, has endured financial challenges over the past few years."

The layoffs are part of a plan to improve efficiency and shutter hospitals in Bedford and Richmond Heights, the hospital said.

The affected employees would receive severance packages, UH said.

Hospital representatives did not immediately respond to a request for additional comment.

Justin Glanville is the deputy editor of engaged journalism at Ideastream Public Media.
Stephanie Metzger-Lawrence is a digital producer for the engaged journalism team at Ideastream Public Media.