Nacogdoches hospital review won't lead to layoffs

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Assessment reviews seem to pack a board room, as it did during Tuesday night's release of a consultant's findings. Always, the biggest concern is "Will I have my job in the morning?"

"The hatchet is not coming out," said Gary Kendrick, the interim CEO at Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital.

Kendrick works for Community Hospital Consultants and assigned as the hospital's interim CEO. His job is to get department managers behind staffing efficiency.

"We will need to reduce staffing," Kendrick said. "Now that doesn't mean laying people off. It would include reducing overtime, being more efficient in staffing when census drops."

Productivity tools based on volume, even square footage in some cases, will be utilized for the first time.

"There is a standard for each department and it says we should have five employees for this activity," Kendrick said. "That is the major part of the productivity tool is giving a standard for each department.">

The consulting group is also pitching a contract with its purchasing group.

"Which will save us about $1.6 million, at least, a year from what we're spending now," Kendrick said.

The report notes the hospital takes pride in serving all patients, regardless of their ability to pay. However, the point comes when billing is asked to accelerate cash collections.

"We will make every attempt to collect some money from the patients because we need to buy equipment, we need to give employees raises," Kendrick said. "As any business we need money to operate."

The recommendations' total potential impact is an annual savings of $7.3 million.

A search committee is projecting a four to five month process starting yesterday until the CEO's first day of employment.

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