KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Cleveland Clinic Announces Plans To Trim Budget $330 Million As It Prepares For Health Law Funding Cuts

The clinic will offer a voluntary early retirement package to about 3,000 employees.

Akron Beacon Journal: Cleveland Clinic Warns Of Possible Layoffs
The Cleveland Clinic notified employees Wednesday that a plan to cut $330 million in expenses in 2014 will likely include layoffs. As part of its cost-cutting strategy, the Northeast Ohio health-care giant is offering a voluntary early retirement package to about 3,000 employees by late October, spokeswoman Eileen Sheil said. The Cleveland Clinic is Northeast Ohio’s largest employer, with about 44,000 employees. Hospitals throughout the nation are taking steps to reduce costs, citing lower payments from Medicare and Medicaid and expected changes from federal health-care reform, commonly called Obamacare (Powell, 9/18).

Cleveland Plain Dealer: Cleveland Clinic To Cut $330 Million From Next Year's Budget, May Cut Jobs
Cleveland Clinic Chief Executive Toby Cosgrove told employees this morning that the health system may have to eliminate jobs to meet a target of cutting $330 million from its 2014 budget. The Clinic will first offer early voluntary retirement to about 3,000 employees, who will be notified in October. It’s not clear if any further cuts in staff could be avoided if all these employees choose to retire, however. About 60 percent of the hospital system’s costs are in labor, salaries and benefits, said spokeswoman Eileen Sheil, and "there's only so much you can do with non-staff cost cutting. "Healthcare reform has really changed things, and the burden of cost is going to be falling on patients," she said. "We want to make sure we can keep care affordable" (Zeltner, 9/18).

Reuters: Cleveland Clinic Announces Job Cuts To Prepare For Obamacare
The world-renowned Cleveland Clinic said on Wednesday it would cut jobs and slash five to six percent of its $6 billion annual budget to prepare for President Barack Obama's health reforms. …The clinic is Cleveland's largest employer and the second largest in Ohio after Wal-Mart. It is the largest provider in Ohio of Medicaid health coverage for the poor, the program that will expand to cover uninsured Americans under Obamacare (Palmer, 9/18).

In other health law implementation news -

The Wall Street Journal: Should Young Adults Stay On Their Parents' Health Plan?
When Rob Wyse's 22-year-old daughter received the offer letter for her first post-college job this summer, after the congratulations the family had a decision to make: Should they keep their daughter on the family health-insurance plan or tell her to get her own? (Wieczner, 9/18).

Health Policy Solutions (a Colo. news service): Left Out – Health Reform Bypasses Some Immigrants, Resort Workers
Undocumented immigrants cannot apply for any federal subsidies through health exchanges across the U.S., so many will continue to go without health care until they have an emergency. Then they’ll get care in the most expensive setting — a hospital emergency department. The Colorado Center on Law and Policy estimated in an April report that about 180,000 undocumented immigrants live in Colorado (Kerwin McCrimmon, 9/18).

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