Lehigh Valley Hospital-Hazleton will not say how many American Jobs they eliminated

Layoffs reported at Lehigh Valley Hospital-Hazleton

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STANDARD-SPEAKER FILE An undisclosed number of Lehigh Valley Hospital-Hazleton employees have been laid off, and the hospital is having trouble retaining and recruiting physicians to the facility, according to spokesman Brian Downs. Staff has been adjusted to meet patient volume due to the layoffs.

Lehigh Valley Hospital-Hazleton laid off a number of people this week, according to hospital sources.

Spokesman Brian Downs could not confirm the number of people who lost their jobs when asked, but said staffing was being adjusted to meet patient volume.

While there is talk around the hospital that more people could be let go in the coming weeks, Downs said there is no truth to it.

“We value our colleagues,” he said in a statement. “It is difficult when industry conditions require adjustments that affect people. As the national model for health care delivery is changing, we are seeing a shift from inpatient to outpatient care.”

Lehigh Valley Hospital-Hazleton is also having trouble retaining and recruiting physicians, which also has an impact on patient volume, Downs said.

The staffing changes will not impact safety or quality, he said. The hospital is also pursuing non-labor cost reductions through efficiencies made possible through integration and consolidation with Lehigh Valley Health Network, Downs said.

“At the same time, we continue to focus on growth,” he said.

Last month, hospital President John Fletcher announced plans to modernize the existing facility and expand the emergency department, services at the ExpressCARE clinic, which has seen tremendous growth, and the Health and Wellness and Dessen centers on Airport Beltway, instead of building a new hospital.

Fletcher cited a shift in health care, in which people who would have been cared for in the hospital are moving to outpatient settings, for the change in plans. The hospital hired a consultant to plan the changes, he said at the time.

To accommodate this growth, Lehigh Valley Hospital-Hazleton is implementing a physician recruitment and retention plan to bring primary and speciality providers to the area, Downs said.

“We expect this multi-year plan to have a positive impact on patient referrals and volume over the next few years,” he said.

Contact the writer: kmonitz@

standardspeaker.com; 570-501-3589.


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