HealthPartners will shutter its St. Paul-based home-care unit, eliminating 70 jobs by January 31 — its third round of layoffs in six weeks in 2019. The decision to close Integrated Home Care on St. Paul’s East Side follows the Bloomington-based health organization’s announcement in November that it will trim 30 retail pharmacy operations in Minnesota as a result of competitive pressures, letting go 300 workers.
Another 75 administrative jobs will be lost throughout its metro-wide network of hospitals and clinics. The three rounds of cuts were attributed, in part, to declining federal reimbursement for Medicare-eligible services, as well as changes in the types of Medicare plans on the market.
Founded in 1957 as a cooperative, the nonprofit health care organization operates eight hospitals, 55 primary care clinics, 22 urgent care locations and numerous specialty practices in Minnesota and western Wisconsin. That includes Region’s Hospital in downtown St. Paul, the HealthPartners Neuroscience Center on Phalen Boulevard, the Park Nicollet clinics and TRIA orthopedic centers. It employs roughly 26,000 workers.
“As we put together our 2020 budget, we had to make difficult decisions to ensure that our organization would be able to care for and serve people in a financially sustainable way,” said Ashley Burt, a HealthPartners spokeswoman. “Part of this was due to a decline in Medicare reimbursement rates and the shift away from Medicare Cost plans last year.”
SEIU Healthcare Minnesota, the labor union representing nurses, pharmacists and dozens of other job titles in the HealthPartners system, said they are still in negotiation over severance benefits for 32 of the 70 home care employees based on Etna Street in St. Paul.
Source: Pioneer Press