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Akron General Health System is laying off over 130 employees as it looks at a weaker financial situation.
The hospital system is laying off 132 workers through the entire Akron General system, on the heels of a $4 million loss last year.
Spokesman Jim Gosky says that health care reform is one big reason behind the need to pare down.
"The health care environment is changing as we speak, with the Affordable Care Act and some other reductions that have come into play with that," Gosky tells AkronNewsNow.com, "reimbursements we get from Medicare and Medicaid are being reduced all the time."
Gosky says the hospital system is seeing less elective surgery due to high patient insurance deductibles.
"People are not choosing to have surgery, elective procedures anymore because many of them are in high deductible health plans," Gosky says, "and if you're have a high top dollar high deductible health plan, you don't want to pay that out of pocket."
Gosky says it was a difficult, but financially necessary, decision to trim the hospital system's workforce.
"It was a very difficult day to say the least, because these were all very valued, dedicated employees," says Gosky. "We hated to see them go, but financial issues that are beyond our control really forced the issue.
The cuts at Akron General come weeks after competitor Summa laid off 54 employees, citing many of the same concerns.
Barberton school board members have agreed to layoff 28 teaching positions in the district.
Superintendent Patricia Cleary said the move was made to help cut spending along with the consolidation of four elementary buildings.
"It truly does break our hearts. These are wonderful teachers," said Cleary. "The kids of the district will suffer for not having these people in the classrooms."
The cuts were made in order to cut about $3 million a year.
Cleary said the school district also plans to reorganize and cut several administrative positions.
"We tried to get creative about, not only the curriculum side of the administration, but also the operational side of the administration."
Residents voted against a levy in November.
The board will discuss placing another levy on the August ballot next Monday.
Akron General Hospital has laid off 70 nurses this morning.
Media and Public Relations Director Jim Gosky explained that the decision to layoff almost half of the licensed practical nurses was not made because of financial issues, but made to provide the best care for patients.
"LPNs who were let go, ultimately, are being replaced with registered nurse positions will be enhanced and not diminished in any way," says Gosky.
About 20 nurses have already been replaced with registered nurses and Gosky says that some of those who have been laid off are currently working to gain further education and training.
"We're working with each of the LPNs individually to help provide some counsel, referrals and severance," says Gosky. "This is an unfortunate situation, anytime whether it's 70, 7 or 700 people, it's a very unfortunate situation."
The hospital made their decision after looking through national and local studies that compare the best ways to provide the highest level of patient care.
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