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Brigham and Women's Hospital offers buyouts to 1600 employees, forecasts layoffs later on

The offer was made via a letter sent by President Betsy Nabel and Executive Vice President Ron Walls.

Beth Jones Sanborn, Managing Editor

Brigham and Women's Hospital, one of New England's most well-known medical facilities and part of the Partners Healthcare system, is offering buyouts to 1600 employees and forecasting layoffs for later in the year.

The offer was made via a letter sent by President Betsy Nabel and Executive Vice President Ron Walls.  The system is offering voluntary retirement to employees who "meet certain criteria" as well as some employees who are members of the Massachusetts Nurses Association and Area Trades Council, saying the offer is for those whose careers are "winding down" so as to create opportunities for "emerging leadership. Physicians and researchers are excluded from eligibility.

Walls and Nabel said the buyouts are an effort "right-size" their workforce and manage labor costs, citing rising expenses and dwindling reimbursements from the government and payers that are negatively affecting the hospital's finances and keeping revenue flat. According to the Boston Globe, 66 percent of Brigham's costs are related to labor.

Roughly nine percent of the 18,000-person workforce got the offer, the Globe said, which includes one year of base pay and up to 20 months of health insurance.

The letter stipulated that by late July, they would know how many employees are taking the offer, and it would be likely that at the conclusion of the process, layoffs would be necessary to further reduce their full-time staff. There was no word on exactly how many layoffs could happen.

Twitter: @BethJSanborn

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