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Burbank hospital lays off 95, closes programs

Burbank’s Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center said Tuesday that it had laid off 95 of its 2,517 employees and closed four hospital programs as a result of rising costs at a time of economic turmoil.

Providence spokeswoman Patricia Aidem said the cutbacks marked the end for units offering urgent care, foot care for diabetics and treatment for workplace injuries -- as well as a transitional-care unit, which prepares patients for care elsewhere.

Multiple urgent-care centers are within a few miles of the hospital, Aidem said, which helped officials decide what units to close.

“The programs that we’re closing have performed at a significant financial loss for a long time now. Costs are rising, we’re seeing less admissions, and Medicare isn’t reimbursing at the rate it costs” to care for people at the units, she said. “Normally you can make that up in other ways, but people can’t even afford to pay their deductibles right now.”

The hospital’s cardiac rehabilitation program will be restructured as part of the cutbacks, Aidem said.

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Providence Saint Joseph will remain at 431 licensed beds. The hospital’s commitment to turn no patients away, even those who can’t pay for healthcare, makes the financial troubles even worse, Aidem said.

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nathan.olivarezgiles@latimes.com


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