Hospital jobs down, but sector steady

| Print |  Email
Archives - February 2009
Sunday, February 01, 2009

STATEWIDE —Planned layoffs by several Oregon health-care providers indicate that not even the state’s hospital workforce is immune to the weakened economy.


Oregon Health & Science University will cut 150 to 300 jobs, while Sky Lakes Medical Center in Klamath Falls plans to eliminate the equivalent of 60 full-time positions. Cascades Healthcare Community, operator of four hospitals in Central Oregon, recently announced budget reductions that will likely result in layoffs and program eliminations, and 20 full-time positions will be eliminated at Rogue Valley Medical Center in Medford.

But even with these layoffs, Oregon’s hospital workforce expanded by 2,000 jobs last year. And industrywide job growth isn’t expected to wane anytime soon. The number of health-care jobs is predicted to increase 27% by 2016, according to a report by the Oregon Healthcare Workforce Institute.

“Significant vacancies existed in the market prior to the recession, and they continue to exist now,” says Jo Isgrigg, executive director of OHWI.

Oregon’s hospitals have not escaped the financial crisis unscathed however. Hospitals with large investment portfolios have seen returns dwindle, while the upheaval of the U.S. bond market has left hospitals struggling to pay higher interest on outstanding debt.

Hospitals will have to reconcile an increasing amount of bad debt accrued on behalf of uninsured patients and will see a drop in patient volumes, warn several hospital executives. In anticipation of lower revenues, hospitals have tightened their operating budgets to compensate.

Attempting to stave off future layoffs, many hospitals have instituted hiring and salary freezes and created programs to retrain employees whose positions have been eliminated. Hospitals statewide are also cutting back on extraneous expenses like travel, and are renegotiating cost relationships with medical suppliers.

For now though, the growing population and high vacancy rate in health-care occupations will translate into continued job growth in the healthcare industry, says Isgrigg.                          

NICOLE STORMBERG



Have an opinion? E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

 

More Articles

Free Falling

Contributed Blogs
Thursday, December 18, 2014
121714-oilprice-thumbBY JASON NORRIS | OB CONTRIBUTOR

The implosion of the energy complex: The best thing for low oil prices is low oil prices.


Read more...

5 companies react to lower fuel prices

The Latest
Thursday, January 15, 2015
thumb-shutterstock 233787049BY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Consumers love the savings they get from low oil prices, but how has business been affected?


Read more...

Labor Pains

February 2015
Monday, January 26, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN

Thinking about starting an internship program? Be careful. Navigating unpaid internships can be tricky.


Read more...

That's Not a Watch (This Is a Watch)

February 2015
Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Smartwatches are all the rage. But old-fashioned timepieces keep on ticking.


Read more...

Ski traffic

News
Tuesday, January 20, 2015
0121-skiway-thumbBY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

A place-based multimodal transportation plan for Mt. Hood is long overdue.


Read more...

Transportation Fairness Alliance holds demonstration in Pioneer Square

The Latest
Wednesday, January 14, 2015
IMG 3367BY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Portland's cab companies urged city hall for consideration as officials weigh new rules for Uber and other ridesharing companies.


Read more...

MBA Perspective

February 2015
Tuesday, January 27, 2015
BY KIM MOORE

Robin Anderson, dean of the Pamplin School of Business, University of Portland: "You need people who are comfortable leading in ambiguity."


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS