About 40 employees have been laid off at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center since March in an effort to save money in underutilized areas.
Executive Vice President Jack Kolosky at Moffitt, said the areas of management and information technologies have seen the majority of the layoffs. Moffitt employs more than 4,000 people overall.
It has more to do with whats going on in our country, he said. We cant afford to continue to pay 17 percent, or whatever it is, in gross national product in health care costs when thats not competitive with the rest of the world. We need to reduce not just the growth of expenditure, but we need to reduce that gross overall amount and we have to find creative ways of doing that.
Kolosky said the change is not a hiring freeze, but a selective staff adjustment as Moffitt will continue to expand overall, including in areas like in-patient care and operations.
There were some departments that were down, so we looked at some of those areas, but then there some areas that were up, he said.
Aside from layoffs, Moffitt has cut costs in the way it manages its pharmaceutical supplies and by restructuring departmental contracts, Kolosky said. Moffitts major illness plan, which was used by less than half of Moffitt employees, was changed into a more standard, short-term disability package that give the individual greater incentive to limit his or her health care expenditures.
Though staff members were not happy about thechanges, they understood, Kolosky said.
Certainly they werent pleased, he said. But I think that people understand the situation in terms of market comparability, and I think, in general, people feel the more we can do in other areas and preserve jobs, the better off well be. Now obviously that doesnt preserve everybodys job, but certainly some of the numbers we could have considered in terms of jobs could have been greater than the 40 or so that actually didleave. Kolosky said the entire healthcare industry is going to go through big changes in the coming years, and has spoken openly to Moffitts staff and board.
The health care and research worlds are changing rapidly, he said. Theres not going to be one episode of belt-tightening and then were done.
Kolosky said the approximately 110 Moffitt medical student residents who are mostly from USF should not be affected by the layoffs.
Reporting by Jessica Velez