Salisbury hospital laying off 58; offering buyouts

Peninsula Regional Medical Center announced Wednesday that it will lay off 58 employees and offer buyouts to 130 as the number of patients it treats declines.

The employees who lose their jobs will be offered severance packages and the opportunity to apply for other jobs at the Salisbury hospital, the company said in a statement.

Peninsula Regional on average has 66 fewer patients in the hospital a day than last year. The medical center is licensed for 288 beds and expects that number to decrease to 250 within the next two years. The hospital was licensed for 363 beds four years ago.

Maryland has recently eliminated 703 licensed beds, including 406 in the past two years, the hospital said.

Peninsula Regional also said that it lost $4 million in lost revenue from Medicaid cuts as a result of federal sequestration. It also said that hospital rate increases approved by the state's Health Cost Services Review Commission have not kept up with inflation, also putting pressure on revenue.

Patient declines are occurring as more people are getting outpatient care rather than at a hospital where they stay overnight, hospitals officials said in the statement. Hospitals will soon be designed for the critically ill, complex surgeries and emergency care, Peninsula Regional officials said.

Peninsula Regional is among other hospitals, including Johns Hopkins Bayview and the University of Maryland Medical Center, that has cut staff in recent months.

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