By Meredith Cohn, The Baltimore Sun
3:30 PM PST, January 27, 2012
St. Joseph Medical Center plans to cut 17 positions at the troubled Towson hospital as part of a "performance improvement initiative."
Hospital officials said in a statement that the "effort requires that we make some difficult but necessary staffing decisions."
The statement also says, "St. Joseph must respond to the changing times and in doing so is charting its course for the future. Good stewardship requires that we continually monitor all variables and make the best decisions possible to maintain efficiencies and provide quality patient care."
The positions are clinical and support staff, and officials said several may be able to find other positions at the hospital. The others will receive several weeks' notice and transition assistance.
The move comes as the hospital conducts a search for a strategic partner. Several area hospitals have been identified as interested in acquiring the center. It was once known for its cardiac care, but in 2009 star cardiologist Dr. Mark Midei was accused of performing hundreds of unnecessary stent procedures.
He's since left the hospital and lost his license in Maryland, but St. Joseph and its parent company face hundreds of lawsuits from former patients. Its revenue has fallen, patient admissions have dropped and other doctors have left the facility.
The hospital also agreed to increased federal oversight after federal accusations of a kickback scheme that resulted in a $22 million settlement and repayment of funds for questionable procedures.
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