Update March 20: Swedish Medical Center Spokesman Ed Boyle told Patch today that just how staffing might change at Swedish Issaquah has not yet been determined. Though documents sent to staff yesterday (attached to this article as PDF files) indicate that the Issaquah Hospital campus volumes are increasing at the projected rate, volumes across the Swedish health care system have dropped since the Issaquah campus was planned and are currently 8 percent lower than budgeted, while staffing is higher than a year ago.
Boyle told Patch in an email:
As today’s Seattle’s Times article pointed out, we are working on a plan for cost reductions. Like health-care providers everywhere, Swedish continues to be challenged by the economy and changes in health-care funding. We continue to be affected by a higher number of patients who are not commercially insured, as well as a rise in uncompensated care. We are also being impacted by cuts in health-care funding. In addition, our patient volumes are – and have been – low across the Swedish system. As a result, we need to adjust our costs accordingly. Despite needing to make some tough decisions, Swedish remains committed to maintaining the highest level of quality care for patients.
Original story: Swedish Medical Center told employees that it is facing dire financial circumstances and layoffs are likely, the Seattle Times reports.
It's not clear yet how many employees at its newest campus, Swedish Issaquah, would be affected by layoffs, but the cost of the center figures into Swedish's large debt.
In 2011, Swedish's hospitals, clinics and ambulatory-care centers had patient revenues of $1.825 billion before $1.89 billion total expenses, according to preliminary figures supplied by Swedish.
Those figures include two months of operations from its newest hospital, Swedish/Issaquah.
According to the Times, Swedish CEO Kevin Brown said patient volumes and revenues are significantly lower than Swedish had projected. Last month, the healthcare provider announced it will be closing its underperforming visiting nurses program in April, which will include layoffs of 216 employees.
"Given the extent of our financial losses, we will need to make some very difficult decisions in the next few weeks," Swedish Spokeswoma Melissa Tizon told the Tiimes. "We will need to reduce all of our costs, and that will likely include reducing staffing to match current volumes."
Swedish Health Services is made up of five hospital campuses (First Hill, Cherry Hill, Ballard, Edmonds and Issaquah); ambulatory-care centers in Redmond and Mill Creek; and Swedish Medical Group — a network of more than 100 primary-care and specialty clinics throughout the Puget Sound area.
Early next month, Swedish plans to launch a comprehensive Multiple Sclerosis treatment center at its Cherry Hill campus in Seattle. It will be a new $4+ million, 11,700-square-foot center dedicated solely to the ongoing treatments and research of the autoimmune disease.