Cleveland Clinic Employees React to Big Budget Cuts

CLEVELAND– Cleveland Clinic, Northeast Ohio’s largest employer, announced that it plans to make big budget cuts.

The Clinic employs 43,000 people worldwide, about 39,000 here in Northeast Ohio.

Cleveland Clinic plans to trim $330 million from its budget in 2014. CEO and President, Dr. Toby Cosgrove, addressed employees during a meeting, Wednesday morning.

“It absolutely concerns me. Everybody wants to keep their job and we want to do the best that we can do, but it’s a new era and we don’t know what to expect. But I believe the administration is just trying to prepare for whatever could happen and make sure that we’re strong,” said Cleveland Clinic employee Joanne Lyons.

A Cleveland Clinic spokeswoman told FOX 8 that the move is in response to healthcare reform laws.

She said the hospital expects to receive less in reimbursements and expects some patients to pay more, which means the hospital needs to more affordable and efficient.

“Everybody is just moving along and protecting the ideology that patients come first. There’s no talk going on about the cuts. It was just announced and people know that the administration is professional and that they’ll handle it accordingly,” said Clinic employee Charles Roach.

The Clinic released a statement which reads, in part, that “to prepare for healthcare reform, Cleveland Clinic is transforming the way care is delivered to patients.”

They plan to save money by “reducing operational costs, having a stricter review of filling vacant positions, and lastly workforce reductions.”

“Every area is gonna be hit somewhere down the line, but I don’t think it’s gonna be anything big (and you’re not worried about your job?)  no, not necessarily,” said an employee who gave her first name, Lisa.

To reduce costs, the Clinic plans to cut down on things like travel and sponsoring some events.  Non-essential positions could go unfilled. 3,000 employees will be offered voluntary early retirement.

Lee Howell hopes the care his daughter receives stays the same.

“They do have a lot of people there to help the people and everything I’ve seen so far has been great,” said Lee Howell, father of a Cleveland Clinic patient.

“We want to do the best that we can and we think we need people for that, hopefully there won’t be layoffs,” said employee Joanne Lyons.

Clinic officials say after they calculate the savings from cuts and early retirements, they can determine how many, if any, people must be laid off.

A spokeswoman says their financial situation is not unique to the Cleveland Clinic, and that most hospitals nationwide are facing similar circumstances.