After announcing layoffs in late July, Memorial Health Care system leaders said this week that they are helping those affected find new employment.
Initially, leaders said about 70 people would be impacted, but spokeswoman Lisa McCluskey said 61 people have been impacted.
“The last I heard, all but six were either hired or interviewing,” she said via email.
Nooga.com has requested additional information about the “restructuring” and workforce reduction.
At the time of the layoffs, Memorial Health Care System President and CEO James M. Hobson noted changes in the health care industry since the recession and passage of the Affordable Care Act.
He said in a prepared statement that health care leaders must change and respond to “the pressure of health care reform.”
"Hospitals across the nation are faced with decreasing reimbursement from commercial payers, while the number of Medicare enrollees swells," he said. "At Memorial, we’ve implemented initiatives to sharpen our focus on the core competencies of the health system and achieve best in class in quality, cost and the patient experience."
Memorial has brought in $190 million in profits in the past six years, according to the Chattanooga Times Free Press.
After months of negotiating, Memorial Health Care System and BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee failed to reach a reimbursement agreement, which meant that beginning Aug. 1, Memorial Hospital was out of network for many BCBST members.
McCluskey said talks with BCBST continue, and so leaders aren't doing interviews on the topic at this time. But they hope to have more information to share in coming days, she said.
BCBT spokeswoman Mary Danielson also said leaders "have had additional discussions," but there is nothing new to report at this time.
"We remain hopeful of getting to an agreement and renewing our partnership," she said via email.
Leaders with the health care system wanted BCBST to extend the contract for 30 days, but the insurance company was unwilling to make that deal.
BCBST leaders said that the company is already paying Memorial competitive reimbursement rates and that Memorial is the most profitable hospital in the region, according to “third-party analysis," according to archives.
BCBST leaders said that analysis shows Memorial earns a 30 percent profit margin from the rates they currently pay.
Memorial is also working toward a $318 million expansion and renovation project. When leaders announced the project in March, fundraisers were working toward raising $15 million for the expansion, according to archives.
Updated @ 11:31 a.m. on 08/23/12 to add more information as it became available.