Hillcrest System Cites Government Changes in Lay-Offs

Hillcrest Healthcare System is laying-off about one percent of its employees. It cited national and state changes to healthcare as the main reason behind the cuts."The Affordable Care Act and cuts to Medicare reimbursement, along with Oklahoma's decision not to participate in Medicaid expansion, are creating complex challenges in our industry and increasing financial pressures on hospitals and health systems. To ensure we can continue to provide future generations with innovative, compassionate and high-quality health care, we must proactively adjust our business today," said Hillcrest Spokesperson Angela Peterson in a statement.Hillcrest said the majority of laid-off positions are administrative. Some Hillcrest employees said they are sorry for their colleagues who lost their positions but understand budget restrictions.A family member of a patient, who asked to be kept anonymous given the controversial debate over government healthcare, said, "I would prefer that any kind of hospital care not be cut. You know, if there's additional funding we can get from the federal government, we probably need to get that."That family member was referring to Oklahoma's decision not to expand Medicaid. It is a change that would provide Medicaid to more people in the state, including a family of four making roughly $31,000. Governor Fallin has called the program "unaffordable."Hillcrest said it has contacted the majority of employees facing lay-offs as of Wednesday afternoon.