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Borgess-Lee Memorial to lay off portion of staff

Published 11:30am Friday, January 3, 2014

An unspecified number of employees with Borgess-Lee Memorial Hospital may lose their jobs, as the healthcare provider plans on scaling back its workforce due to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

According to a statement released by the hospital, Borgess-Lee is among the corporation’s locations that will be experiencing layoffs. The organization declined to comment on the size of the planned reductions due to consideration for the employees affected by the layoffs.

The hospital said they are implementing the cuts due to a reduction of Medicare payments as a result of the Affordable Care Act. The reductions will total more than $140 million over a ten-year period, the hospital said.

The hospital doesn’t plan on eliminating any current services alongside the reduction in staff, the hospital said. Cass County patients should be able to experience the same level of healthcare from Borgess-Lee after the cuts are made, officials added.

Despite the cuts in total staff, the hospital plans to extend its presence in the community later this year. The organization will move into the space currently occupied by the county dental clinic inside the Donald Lyons Health Center, located across the street from the hospital’s main location on West High Street, after the clinic relocates to its new location downtown later this year.

The new grounds will give the hospital an additional 3,500 square feet of operating space, which it will use to consolidate most of its family practice services into a single location. The entire floor will be revamped, adding patient examination rooms, along reception and patient waiting areas. In addition, much of the facility will receive a fresh look and new design during the renovation, which the hospital expects to be complete by early 2015.

“This will help us provide good patient flow through all areas of the building and create a state-of-the-art environment for the medical services we provide to Borgess-Lee patients,” said Borgess-Lee Chief Operating Officer John Ryder in an email statement.

With the departure of the county dental clinic, Borgess-Lee will become the sole occupant of the building.

Borgess-Lee, which is located at 420 W. High St., has been open in Dowagiac for more than 85 years. It is one of three hospitals under the Borgess banner, along with Borgess Medical Center in Kalamazoo and Borgess-Pipp Hospital in Plainwell. Borgess currently employs around 4,100 employees across its Michigan facilities.

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