New Children's to lay off 45 on hospital staff; It's part of plan to end inpatient services; Health care


New Children's Hospital, which announced plans to close its inpatient service in December, sent layoff notices yesterday to about 45 employees.

The hospital hopes to place some of the workers in other jobs before the layoffs take effect March 13, said Debra Ballwanz, public relations coordinator. The hospital plans to continue all its outpatient services, including surgery and rehabilitation programs.

New Children's decided to stop inpatient service under pressure from state regulators, who were concerned with low occupancy, high costs and long stays at the hospital.

Licensed for 76 beds, it averages 10 patients a day, according to the state Health Services Cost Review Commission. The hospital was losing about $3 million a year, on revenue of $12 million.

Its plans to close inpatient service are still being reviewed by state regulators. The Health Resources Planning Commission has scheduled a public hearing for Feb. 18 at 7 p.m. in the auditorium of Coppin State College. The commission is scheduled to act on the proposal at its March meeting. Such closures of service are subject to the approval of state regulators.

New Children's announced plans in June to merge into North Arundel Health System. The merger was never completed, and Ballwanz said yesterday, "Merger discussions are on hold, and there is no set time for future discussions."

The hospital, at 3825 Greenspring Ave., has 164 employees. Agnes Nicholas, director of development and public relations, said New Children's also was trying to place laid-off workers at other hospitals.

Pub Date: 2/06/99

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