Mission Hills Hospital Trims 50 Workers in Restructuring

Times Staff Writer

About 50 employees of Holy Cross Hospital in Mission Hills, ranging from custodians to senior managers, were laid off Thursday in a move hospital officials said was prompted by changing medical economics.

The layoffs, effective immediately, did not include physicians or nurses, and no reduction in health care is anticipated, said Paul Hensler, hospital president.

The reductions represented about 5% of the work force at the non-union hospital. “It was pretty much across the board,” Hensler said. For instance, he said, the dietary staff dropped from 40 to 36 and housekeeping from 32 to 30.

Almost all of the employees held full-time positions. None could be reached for comment Thursday.


“We are just doing some restructuring in response to general medical economic conditions,” Hensler said.

The length of time patients stay at the hospital has been reduced by medical advances, and the state and federal governments have cut Medi-Cal and Medicare reimbursements.

“Our outpatient surgery unit now handles 250 procedures a month,” he said. “Just a few years ago, most of those patients would have been treated as inpatients, and would have stayed here for about five days.”

Hensler added that the hospital is providing more care to indigent patients, “and we don’t get reimbursed for that.”


He said layoffs are common throughout the industry.

“Business is actually up” when measured by the number of patients treated at the hospital, he said, adding that the hospital would be expanding health care services and building new facilities in the future.

Before the reductions, more than 1,090 employees, including about 500 doctors, worked at the private nonprofit facility. The 311-bed hospital is owned by the Sisters of the Holy Cross and the Catholic Church.

He added that most of those who were laid off had expected it. “Most people seem to have taken it pretty well,” he said.

However, a chapel ground-breaking ceremony planned for today was canceled, Hensler said, because there were rumors of a demonstration over the layoffs.