MultiCare Health System, Pierce County’s largest private employer, will cut up to 350 employees from its network by early autumn.
“We will reduce our workforce by about 300 to 350 (full-time employees) out of our total workforce of 9,400 employees effective Oct. 7,” said spokeswoman Marce Edwards on Tuesday morning.
“These will not be across-the-board cuts, but instead careful, selected reductions in areas where cost-savings opportunities exist,” Edwards said.
“MultiCare Health System is facing major cuts in reimbursement from Medicare and Medicaid, as are all health systems across the country,” she said. “We also are seeing more laid-off workers seeking health care who have lost their health insurance due to the struggling economy.”
To minimize the need to layoff workers, the company has asked for volunteers, Edwards said.
The company will provide severance packages and health insurance benefits to affected employees.
Citing one area where revenues have been reduced, Edwards said state budget cuts for the 2011-2013 biennium will result in $37.6 million less to MultiCare, with $10 million of those cuts occurring in 2011.
Reductions in Medicare and Medicaid payments have a “significant impact,” she said, in that about half of MultiCare network patients are program recipients.