Inability of patients to pay leads to hospital employee layoffs

By: Lizz Marrs Email
By: Lizz Marrs Email

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - Hospital employees could be facing the chopping block because patients can't pay their bills.

Community Hospital is laying off staff while St. Mary's Hospital is still weighing options as more and more hospitals across the country are seeing patients come in without health insurance and who are unable to pay their bills.

Community Hospital says with a 44% increase in uninsured patients, it gets less than $.30 for every dollar it bills.

An anonymous caller told 11 News he got laid off and says as much as a tenth of the staff could be let go. Hospital officials wouldn't comment on specifics.

CEO Chris Thomas said they are focusing on what they call non-clinical positions because those are not positions where care is given. Community Hospital is allowing most of its laid off employees to continue working through the holidays.

St. Mary's officials say they're able to keep employees by cutting back on other expenses but both hospitals say some sort of health care reform is necessary.

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