Novant Health to cut 289 jobs, including 103 in Charlotte

Published: May. 29, 2012 at 4:27 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 28, 2012 at 4:27 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, NC (Jennifer Thomas/Charlotte Business Journal) - Novant Health Inc. will eliminate 289 jobs, including 103 at Presbyterian Healthcare in Charlotte, citing economic pressures to make health-care more affordable.

The Winston-Salem-based health-care system issued a memo to employees Tuesday concerning the layoff plans.

Novant has about 25,000 employees across the Carolinas and Virginia. About 9,000 of those are based in the Charlotte region.

"It's important to emphasize that Novant Health is financially secure, but we have to meet the challenge of providing more affordable care," Carl Armato, president and chief executive, states in the memo to employees.

He notes the recent recession and health-care reform have emphasized the need to make services more affordable. Patients are using fewer health-care services like elective surgeries and outpatient testing such as diagnostic imaging.

Novant faces pressures to reduce costs from patients as well as from government and businesses.

"We must address this imperative now, proactively, to remain a strong organization," Armato writes.

Employees will be notified of the cuts within the next three days. Plans call for 78 percent of the cuts to affect non-clinical employees, including 82 management positions. About 64 jobs will be cut from the clinical staff.

Novant will attempt to find other positions for employees affected by the cuts. It is currently recruiting for about 1,300 positions, mostly in clinical and patient-care positions. Most of the displaced positions are management and support staff though, so they will not qualify for the clinical openings.

The health-care system says it will extend assistance to employees who cannot find open positions, including severance packages for those who qualify.

Novant's net income fell to $1 million last year from $158 million in 2010. The decline of more than 99 percent was primarily driven by lower investment returns.

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