Mercy Planning 20 Layoffs Between Fort Smith, NWA Locations

FORT SMITH (KFSM) — Citing reduced reimbursement from Medicare and Medicaid for health services, Mercy plans to cut 20 positions between Fort Smith and Northwest Arkansas.

“Mercy, along with other health care providers nationwide, continues to be challenged by reduced reimbursement for the services we provide, especially from Medicare and Medicaid, which do not fully cover the costs of care,” said Todd Nighswonger, spokesman for Mercy.

“At the same time, we are experiencing high expenses for labor in an increasingly competitive job market, as well as rising costs for drugs and supplies.”

Affected employees will receive outplacement services and a severance package including compensation and benefits based on their position and length of service, Nighswonger said.

He added that Mercy is working “as efficiently as possible” to maintain high quality and service despite the job cuts.

“Our transition plan for co-workers who are impacted reflects Mercy’s commitment to dignity and compassion,” Nighswonger  said.

“While job losses are not uncommon in today’s health care environment, our hearts go out to our co-workers and their families.”

In March, Mercy earned a national top five health system rank for the fourth consecutive year. The study commended the hospital for shorter hospital stays, fewer complications and better patient results.

The Fort Smith location was also one of only two locations in Arkansas to earn an “A” grade for patient safety and quality from The Leapfrog Group, which is a national non-profit that tracks hospital performance.

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