TEMPLE, TX — Baylor Scott & White Health, the state’s largest not-for-profit hospital system, will shed 1,700 more jobs system-wide in a massive re-organization. About 2% of the job losses will affect Central Texas.
The move will mostly come from overhead, at a time when the hospital business has become tougher than ever.
Experts say hospitals covered the costs for people who couldn't pay due to the COVID-19 pandemic, while states prevented them from pursuing better paying patients.
"Revenues from things like elective surgeries, which are only a profit center for hospitals, and things of that nature were largely on hold and down dramatically, which really put a squeeze on revenues," explained economist Dr. Ray Perryman of The Perryman Group.
It caused a huge loss of health care jobs across Texas, but Baylor, Scott & White, with a strong balance sheet, will bet against that trend by shifting more resources.
Baylor Scott & White makes up the biggest not-for-profit healthcare system in Texas, with 52 hospitals, more than 800 patient-care sites and over 47,000 employees.
Hospital leaders say this reorganization takes resources from administration and adds it to patient care.
In a statement, the company said the job losses come almost exclusively from accounting and billing.
"These back-office functions, while important to our operations, can often be provided at a lower cost if we partner with best-in-class providers... with the goal of increasing our focus on patient care," it said.
What's the impact in Central Texas? Temple Mayor Tim Davis says the local job losses amount to less than 200.
”Two thirds of them are going over to the vendor that Scott & White hired to take over their duties,” he explained.
The other 60, he says, can re-train for patient-oriented jobs, which are especially important since the company plans to open a branch campus of the Baylor Medical School in Temple.
”I was assured by the president of Scott & White yesterday that Scott & White will continue to pay these employees salaries, you know, until they've either been retrained or move on to another organization,” said Davis.
As for the company's re-focus, experts say it's hard to argue with a company taking from overhead and putting it toward its core business, helping guarantee jobs for medical students in the years to come.