Hospital to cut budget by $3 million

Kyle Magin
Sierra Sun

TRUCKEE and#8212; A $3 million dollar budget reduction is planned for the Tahoe Forest Hospital System in the upcoming fiscal year.

Spokeswoman Paige Nebeker said Tuesday Tahoe Forest is cutting about 3 percent of the organization’s $100 million operating budget in a response to the declining local and national economy, which caused many residents to postpone or forgo elective medical procedures. The decision could affect about 40 full-time equivalent positions.

In a statement released Monday, Tahoe Forest CEO Bob Schapper explained the move.

and#8220;Every person in our community has no doubt felt some version of economic pressure as the financial crisis in this country has dominated the news since last September,and#8221; Schapper said. and#8220;Health care providers are impacted in a number of ways, such as poor reimbursement, shift of payer mix, downward trends of elective procedures and more. These consolidations will mostly be invisible to patients, will not affect the high quality of our patient care, and reflect our ongoing focus to continually improve the efficiency and effectiveness of our daily operations.and#8221;

Schapper said the hospital system began looking in November at ways to reduce the budget in the face of the downturn.

Nebeker said up to 40 full-time equivalent positions could be consolidated in the decision, mostly from part-time and per diem workers.

She said the medical and non-medical operations of the hospital system are affected equally by the reductions.

and#8220;There was a diligent process used to determine all of our short-and-long- term reductions, everything was looked at very carefully,and#8221; Nebeker said.

Nebeker said cuts were analyzed and implemented in every department at the hospital.

and#8220;We looked at cost savings all across the board and in every department, from office cleaning to anything that would make us more cost effective,and#8221; Nebeker said.

She reiterated Schapper’s point of reductions being mostly invisible to patients and will not affect medical care at the Truckee facility or its branches throughout the area.

The new, reduced operating budget comes into effect July 1 for the 2009-10 fiscal year.

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