Renaissance Hospital lays off “a handful” in summer lull

Published 6:13 pm Tuesday, September 18, 2007

GROVES — The high cost of doing business in the medical field has trickled down to some employees at Renaissance Hospital in Groves.

The hospital has laid off “a handful” of employees and cut hours for other workers in Groves for two basic reasons, Dorraine Smith, business development director, said.

“During the summer we usually have kind of a lull and it hit us a little later this year,” Smith said.

She said the other reason is that insurance companies have increased paper work and red tape making it more difficult for hospitals to be compensated for costs. In some cases, appeals take 120 days, Smith said.

“There’s been an increase in the cost of medical care,” she said.

Smith said hours may have been cut for staffers in an array of positions, from nursing to housekeeping, while layoffs occurred with “marketing people and things like that.”

“What we’ve had to do is a reallocation of labor. We have less than a handful of people that we laid off,” she said.

She said she’s heard that some employees are saying they were losing jobs because of a $5 million accounting error.

“That is false,” Smith said.

Lay offs were corporate wide, affecting Renaissance Hospitals in Dallas, Houston and Terrell, Smith said. She reminded that other hospitals, including Christus St. Mary in Port Arthur and Christus St. Elizabeth in Beaumont, recently announced layoffs.

The Christus group laid off 100 employees last week, citing an increase in uninsured patients as the reason.

Hospital officials will keep the employee contacts on file after reassessing the situation, she said.

The layoffs will not affect the hospital’s plans to build a new Renaissance Hospital in Silsbee, Smith said.

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