EAST LIVERPOOL In a move designed to cut costs while continuing to provide services to the community, River Valley Health Partners-East Liverpool City Hospital (ELCH) has announced changes in its operations.
In a release Tuesday, hospital officials said "necessary steps" have been taken to "ensure we can continue to provide care in the future."
Among those steps include outsourcing services, reduction of administrative personnel, reductions in benefits and offering early retirement programs to employees.
According to the release, the hospital elected to offer early retirement programs in an attempt to prevent layoffs and other reductions in force.
Nonetheless, the hospital will "continue to provide a benefits package that is competitive within in the health care community," according to the press release.
The hospital has partnered with American-based, nationally recognized companies "that have mastered maximizing technology to be experts at such things as billing, collections, housekeeping and dietary," it went on to say.
The changes "will be heartbreaking to some and minor to others," hospital officials said.
Ken Cochran, president and CEO, said, "My first responsibility is to ensure that we are able to provide the best care possible for our patients. We are simply putting our patients first as we design a new business model for our future. River Valley Health Partners is committed and positioned to care for our community now and for many years to come."
Reduction in reimbursement caused by a variety of reasons, including health reform, implementation of OBAMACARE, reduction in reimbursements caused by the Sequestration and other indigent care programs, increases in the number of uninsured community members and the reduction in employer-sponsored health insurance have combined to cause "major challenges" to the local hospital, the release related.