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Fairview Health Services Announces Changes That Include ‘Reimagined’ St. Joseph Hospital, 900 Eliminated Positions

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Fairview Health Services announced on Monday “important changes” being made during the COVID-19 pandemic, which include hundreds of positions eliminated and a reimagined St. Joseph Hospital.

According to Fairview, the company lost $163 million in the first six months of 2020 amid the pandemic.

“The COVID-19 pandemic deeply impacted and further exposed the profound challenges health systems face and the unsustainable economics of healthcare today, with rising costs far outpacing reimbursement rates,” Fairview said in a statement.

Now, Fairview says it’s taking important steps to address the financial challenges and improve patient care.

“The changes announced today are steps toward the transformation we need to meet the needs of our community now and into the future,” James Hereford, Fairview President and CEO, said. “While we must address our financial challenges, ultimately this is about ensuring our future as a thriving and innovative health system; one dedicated to helping and healing patients. To improve health outcomes and experience for our patients, we must be willing to do things differently.”

According to Fairview, one of the big changes include St. Joseph Hospital being reimagined as a “community hub of health and wellness.” Fairview says the hospital in its current form does not appropriately meet the needs of the community.

“Minnesota Hospital Association data show that 72 percent of the cases in the St. Joseph’s Hospital Emergency Department were considered “potentially preventable visits” with appropriate primary care. To better meet the upstream needs of the community today, the St. Joseph’s campus will evolve to address major factors that influence social determinants of health, including healthcare, housing and supportive services,” Fairview said.

COVID-19 care will continue at St. Joseph’s through 2021.

As part of the changes, Bethesda Hospital is being leased to Ramsey County to help address the homelessness crisis, pending Ramsey County Board approval. A lease agreement is expected to be addressed this week at the Ramsey County Board meeting. COVID-19 patients there will be transferred to St. Joseph’s by the end of the year.

Additional changes include enhancements to improve patient outcomes and experience, a new ambulatory care model and Emergency Psychiatric Assessment, Treatment and Healing (EmPATH) units being implemented across the system.

As a result of the changes, Fairview says 900 positions across the system will be eliminated. That equals slightly less than 3% of the total workforce, according to Fairview.

“Wherever possible, employees will be encouraged to transition to new roles within the system. Fairview currently has approximately 1,200 open roles,” Fairview said.

This is a developing story, so check back for more.

Source: CBS Minnesota

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