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MD Anderson Cutting Staff by 1,000

MD Anderson campus

Aerial photograph of MD Anderson campus in 2011 (MDAnderson.org)

6 January 2017. University of Texas – MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston says it is cutting its workforce by about 1,000, about 5 percent of its staff. Most of the cuts, 800 to 900 jobs, will be done by layoffs, with the remainder through retirements and attrition according to a story in the Houston Chronicle.

The newspaper says MD Anderson reported an operating loss of $111 million for the period of September through November 2016, with the research institution and cancer care hospital not able to make up the loss from other cost-containment measures. The staff reductions that started yesterday are expected save MD Anderson some $120 million.

The Chronicle quotes sources at MD Anderson that none of the layoffs will affect doctors or clinical care nurses. However, the Houston Business Journal says about 120 of the job reductions will come from the ranks of managers and executives. Cuts to research scientists or staff were not mentioned.

In a news conference, according to the newspaper, MD Anderson’s president Ron DePinho and chief financial officer Dan Fontaine attributed much of the institution’s financial problems to implementation of an electronic health records system, which disrupted established workflows causing less time for staff to devote to patients. The system is expected to eventually make patient care more productive, with Fontaine quoted as saying MD Anderson is back to 95 percent of its previous productivity.

During MD Anderson’s 2016 fiscal year that ended in August, the institution lost $266 million, while reporting a surplus of $157 in 2015. Despite the layoffs, MD Anderson remains Houston’s second-leading employer, behind Memorial Hermann Health System with 24,000 employees.

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