OhioHealth announces biggest layoff in company history
OhioHealth is eliminating 637 jobs, its biggest layoff ever, as part of a plan that the Columbus-based healthcare operator says is necessary to drive improvements in patient care.
Of the 637 jobs, 567 are in information technology while the rest are in a unit called revenue cycle that handles such things as billing, coding and accounts receivable. Most of the jobs are based in Greater Columbus.
OhioHealth informed workers Thursday of the cuts.
The IT workers will remain on the payroll until Jan. 3. They will be given the opportunity for training that could make them eligible for other jobs with OhioHealth.
The other workers will be laid off Nov. 4.
Workers will receive severance pay and temporary benefits after their employment ends. OhioHealth says it will have a job fair for those who are affected.
“To continue to be a leading healthcare system committed to providing the best possible patient experience, we have made the decision to engage external partners to provide some services that we currently provide in house,” OhioHealth said in a statement.
OhioHealth says the IT work will be handled by the professional services company Accenture. AGS Health will handle the revenue cycle business.
OhioHealth says the moves aren’t meant to save money. Instead, the layoffs are intended to drive improvement in patient care and services, and position the health care system for a future where patients rely more on telemedicine and cell phones to organize their health care.
“Healthcare is transforming, and we need to constantly look for the best ways to invest in technology and processes that allow us to best serve our customers. As the expectations of our customers change, we must also change,” OhioHealth said in an email to staff.
Using third parties is the best way to keep up with change, it said.
“By leveraging the deep expertise of our partners, we will keep pace with these rapid changes in a better way than we could on our own,” the email said.
OhioHealth employs 30,000 associates and physicians across 47 Ohio counties, according to the health system.
The health care provider owns 12 hospitals, more than 200 outpatient locations, and offers hospice and home health services.
OhioHealth’s 1,059-bed Riverside Methodist Hospital remains the largest in the Columbus area. Its other hospitals include Grant Medical Center Downtown, Doctors Hospital on the west side and locations in Dublin, Grove City, Delaware, Kenton, Mansfield, Marion, Athens, Circleville, Kenton and Shelby.
OhioHealth was able to avoid furloughs and layoffs early in the COVID-19 pandemic, despite the pandemic’s brutal impact on hospital finances. Instead, the health system redeployed some workers to help with things like COVID testing.
In 2018, OhioHealth eliminated 80 jobs in Mansfield. The cuts were part of a restructuring in which OhioHealth outsourced its operations for linens, transcription and child care and eliminated positions in nutrition and lab services in Mansfield.
Most of the employees affected by the Mansfield cuts were offered other jobs at OhioHealth at the time.