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3/31/2017 12:00:00 AM PACIFIC
Updated: 3/31/2017 3:02:33 PM PACIFIC
For more information, contact Kara Heldt.
Trios Health workforce restructuring effective Apr. 1, additional annual savings of $2.2M expected
Kennewick, Wash. – In a move to return the Kennewick Public Hospital District to financial health, Trios Health’s management has implemented the workforce restructuring component of a comprehensive plan prepared by Quorum Health Resources, a management consulting firm hired by the District’s Board of Commissioners. All workforce changes are effective April 1, 2017.

Quorum’s final report recommended a reduction of up to 115 full-time equivalents or FTEs* (not employees) to gain organizational efficiencies and cost savings while preserving high-quality patient care. With the workforce restructuring, Trios Health will realize 95 FTE reductions within its hospital and Trios Medical Group since the beginning of 2017. The financial savings represents about $4.3M annually; $2.2M of that will be realized from the April 1 changes alone. 

“The Quorum report concluded that our operations were not sustainable without significant financial and operational adjustments,” said Marv Kinney, KPHD Board president. “We are actively course correcting as it is our intention to continue to serve the Tri-Cities.”

The 401-page report delivered in December 2016 described the perfect storm for the organization following the construction of a much-needed new hospital and outpatient facility when industry-wide realities and local competition collided. The original hospital was opened in 1952. 

“We commissioners are proud of the work that the management and staff have done to carefully and creatively address our challenges while preserving our high standards for patient care and endeavoring to preserve as many positions and employees as possible. It was an enormous team effort to figure out how to make these difficult yet necessary adjustments in such a short time frame,” he added.

The 95 FTE reductions were realized through attrition (not rehiring positions when possible), changes to shift scheduling and hours worked, voluntary layoffs, and reduction in force (involuntary layoffs). Of the 95 FTEs, 21.8 FTEs (23%) were involuntary layoffs.
“As we worked through the process we had ongoing conversations with our unions and have kept our providers and staff in the loop at every turn over the past two months, including the sharing of Quorum’s plan—all 401 pages,” said Interim CEO Craig Cudworth, who arrived on site February 1 to lead the turnaround project. “We took due care to notify affected individuals a couple of weeks ago so there were no surprises. It was and remains a priority to offer dignity, respect, and transparency to all affected, whether by their choice or not. Losing colleagues hurts. We are friends, neighbors, and even family. This is a very difficult time for us.”

No patient services have been discontinued as a result of workforce restructuring. Positions affected range from management and supervisory roles to nursing, technician, and clerical jobs.

The remaining 20 FTEs planned for reduction are expected to be realized over the next several months through additional attrition, hourly adjustments relative to patient volumes/need, and additional opportunities identified by employees. “We will diligently watch our productivity numbers to meet our targets,” Cudworth said. “We are already seeing early indications that we are on the right track.”

The Quorum recommendations span all areas of Trios Health’s operations including finance, workforce, clinical operations, physician services, managed care, revenue cycle, case management, supply chain, and information technology. Workforce has been the initial focus, but additional efforts are underway.