Eastern Niagara Hospital is making more cuts to services and employees, as it attempts to close a $10 million deficit.
The Board of Directors previously announced changes in May. However, after completing a full analysis, the hospital said more are needed.
“We need to make significant changes to position the Hospital so we are offering the services the community not only needs, but those services the population will support and utilize to maintain viability," said President and CEO Anne McCaffrey in a statement. "As we continue to work with NYS Department of Health, we have been advised that it is critical that we develop and implement a comprehensive hospital model that is viable for the long term. These transitions are being implemented to ensure that our hospital is here to serve our community for many years. Our mission is to provide the quality care our community needs – and do it well.”
Among the new changes is closure of the Newfane hospital campus, which the hospital said is currently 20% occupied. Eastern Niagara plans to relocate the 30 beds of its Reflections Chemical Dependency Program back to Lockport and close the outpatient physical therapy and laboratory services in Newfane.
That is expected by October, when the Newfane property will be put up for sale.
Inpatient beds and nursing units in Lockport will be consolidated, outpatient physical therapy services in Lockport will be closed, while patient accounting and billing will move back to East Avenue. The hospital said additional cuts will be made to management, expense savings and other internal non-labor items.
The changes will mean another 50 full-time employees will be cut and 50 currently vacant positions will be eliminated.
“Eastern Niagara Hospital, like many community hospitals across the country, has been experiencing financial challenges for a number of years. It can no longer maintain services with low volume or those that incur extensive losses," McCaffrey said. "We need to resize and adjust our services to focus on the fundamentals in order to remain strong. This will be our vision for the future. We now ask for your support and understanding as we implement these changes to complete the re-design of our sustainable hospital and move forward into the future."