Budget cuts force Bay Medical Center to trim employee hours

By: Sandra Osborne Email
By: Sandra Osborne Email

Panama City-As many as several hundred local healthcare workers will be getting smaller pay checks by the end of this month. Bay Medical Center is cutting the hours of a large number of it's employees. Last year employees at Bay Medical launched a campaign to help raise money for the new patient tower project. Now one month after the tower opening, many of those employees are facing pay cuts.

Bay Medical Center administrators confirmed Thursday that the hopsital is reducing hours for many of the 2,000 employees by as much as 10%. "Basically based on the current economy, a lot of businesses are looking at ways to decrease their cost. We're not doing anything across the board, but we're looking at all areas to see where we can reduce cash," said Dan Morgan, Bay Medical Center's C.O.O.

Morgan says one of the main reasons for the cuts is the rising number of patients without healthcare insurance, coupled with changes in Medicare payments to the hospital. Last year alone, indigent patient care cost Bay Medical nearly $32 million. Administrators say they decided to cut workers hours instead of lay-offs. "I think that when the employees understand what we're doing and the reasons why we're doing it, I think they'll be positive in terms of their view of what we're doing for the organization," said Morgan.

The budget decisions have yet to be finalized, but Morgan says they will have to cut costs everywhere not just with employees. The hosptial will also be cutting advertising budgets and reducing costs of medical supplies. The one area that won't be cut is patient care. Hospital officials say they will not cut the hours for nurses or key administrators. The cuts should take effect later this month.

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  • by GulfCoastEmployee Location: Panama City on Nov 4, 2010 at 06:33 AM
    Nurse123: The average total time for "waiting, triage, to first beeing seen by a physician" yesterday was 17 minutes. We do comply with Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA)of 1986. That being said we treat anyone with a medical emergency regardless of their situation. We provide this care in an efficient and financially responsible way. In addition, we try to improve the overall care for people in our community. If you would like specific examples of the recent improvements in care for our community let me know. :)
  • by nurse123 Location: PC. on Oct 25, 2010 at 11:45 AM
    For Gulf Coast Employee: Let me tell you Your hospital isnt so great either. Do you think it is nice that they patients get thru the waiting, triage and being seen by a Doctor to be told well you have been screen and your not an emergency so if you want the scripts fork out $150.00 ? If you knew how many angry patients came over to Bay.... By your hospital doing that ,it has increased our wait time tremndously. As far as the homeless comments, Bay is right next to the mission,SO they repeatidly come in with bs complaints to get out of weather or get fed, which also takes away from other people getting treated that are more serious and critical because beds are being taken, we do see a lot of indigent care, Bay is a not for profit, where Gulf Coast is for profit. So until you have worked at both places, do not comment.
  • by Sam Location: Panama City on Oct 24, 2010 at 06:52 AM
    I wonder what the actual numbers reflect? The 2009 community benefits report hasn't been published yet, but 2008 was $26m in indigent care.. This article quotes $32m for 2009... My wife works at BMC and she was told in January raises would be contingent on how well the hospital did this year. I wonder how much indigent care is up this year and how much of that could be attributed to the severe down turn in the local economy due to the oil spill?
  • by Nurse123 Location: PC on Oct 23, 2010 at 10:28 AM
    This is for "get real people" and the response that was left. First off The employees are not ruining the hospital and as far as "uneducated" that was not very nice, and if you think employees do not want a raise ( over 2 years for myself) than you are truely an idiot!) Obviously you sit behind a desk with rose colored glasses if you do not see what is happening here. The bottom line with all the cut backs that we have faced is AFFECTING patient care. If you would like employee to publically anounce incidents that have occured hospital wide we can. As far as us uneducated employees that are ruinging the wonderful Bay Medical Center I have two things to say. One I am putting in my notice and seeking employement elsewhere so I do not have to put up with the bs that has been going on and two I hope that the board of directors and current admin get fired and replaced and that Bay Medical once again becomes a great place to work.
  • by Town Hall Meeting Time Location: CEO's Yacht on Oct 22, 2010 at 09:05 PM
    It's called "Madoff Management". Those who trusted Madoff with their money were the ones who "allowed" the Madoff Terrorist to rip them off. In a similar manner, those employees who donated their pay checks to build a new tower allowed the BMC Jr. Madoff's to rip you/the community off. Sandra Osborne/WJHG, can you arrange a town hall meeting and invite the Attorney General as part of the panel who can address the requests for an investigation? A thorough investigation of the mishandling of the financial budget, the financial abuse (CEO has a private jet and yacht as part of his benefits). Following the townhall meeting, we're requesting a Grand Jury inquiry and some indictments for Fraud, Waste, Abuse as alot of this waste also includes federal dollars - CMS reimbursements etc. Help the community wjhg...don't just air the COO, help the community indict the Jr. Madoffs. Please Help us! Help Panama City!!! Help Us!! Help Us Now!!!
  • by Can'tBelieveThis Location: Out of State on Oct 21, 2010 at 07:36 PM
    I am very displeased with this fiasco! My poor mother is upset about the way she and her co-workers are being treated. Stop making the employees feel that they should shut up and be grateful for being employed (which they are)! Now "they" are saying there is no money for basics like pens and post-its! I hope and pray that the administration has a moment of clarity and realize that these employees are human beings who give all that they can to this hospital to make you all look good. Is it true that the administrators are not having their salaries cut?? This is no different than when the banks were bailed-out and the CEOs continued to receive their bonuses while the employees were let go or had their salaries decreased! I wish I could help each and everyone of the employees unionize!!! Oh, and since you have a problem with how much you are being reimbursed from TRICARE, you better believe I am going to urge each active duty military, retiree, and their dependents to go elsewhere!!!
  • by Anonymous Location: Panama City on Oct 20, 2010 at 06:21 PM
    I have been BMC employee for several years and have noticed a complete disregard by the Administration for the staff. The nurses are understaffed, overworked, and demanded to work without any support from the administrators. As if thats not bad enough! Now pay cuts, fireings, forced retirement of our older seasoned nurses; and replaced with brand new, fresh out of school nurses without a clue! More mistakes will be made!! More Sentinal events will happen! In spite of everything the administrators are doing to demoralize the staff, these nurses always seem to dig down and rise to the occasion. No thanks to our, "fearless leaders". Hey BMC administrators, wake up.
  • by More than frustrated Location: PC on Oct 18, 2010 at 06:24 PM
    BMC is full of double standards. Cut staffing for convenience. The ones that bring dangers to light are fired. Keep the others that are "yes" men, regardless of the detriment it could mean. Double & triple assignments, wear down the employees, no raises (some management for years, unless you were a favorite), & keep sweeping things under the rug. The facility has lost the public's respect. When are they going to see that? They can't even staff the new building appropriately. If they accept governmental funds (and yes they do), then something has got to be done about it. Who has the power?
  • by Anonymous Location: Bay County on Oct 17, 2010 at 06:57 PM
    There was a meeting once with the CEO, Steve Johnson. He started getting real questions and felt he himself was being attacked (which he was not). He got all upset and used bad language, saying that he could make a decision immediately if he wanted to. Also, the man who designed the new wing of the hospital designs hotels for a living, not hospitals...and he is a friend of Steve Johnson. Nope. No problems there.
  • by I WANT MY BAY MEMORIAL HOSPITAL BACK! on Oct 14, 2010 at 08:58 PM
    For decades my family has used BMC (and will continue to - still the best choice for healthcare in Bay county). I have some relatives that work there and I have some ideas.*If you asked the question, "How many of the administrators make >$200K", you'd be SHOCKED - not just Johnson/Morgan. I respect Mr. Johnson, he's qualified and I feel he cares for the hospital - BUT he is ineffective due to his inaction in dealing with problems throughout the hospital. Mr Morgan needs to GO! Check his resume and his track record - he has cost BMC millions due to his errors. Some of the worst leaders have the most important jobs, this must change! There are problems in many departments. *In IT - end the frequent flyer miles. *In HR, these good folks need new leadership, and she needs to go!*NIX the Marketing Dept, get a PR firm.*End the lavish Board trips,NOW!*Mr. Johnson, get out into that hospital and personally show your staff you care! BMC has potential!Mr. Johnson, let us see the CEO in YOU!
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