SC’s largest hospital system lays off 327 employees

South Carolina News

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina’s largest private health system is laying off 327 employees.

Prisma Health said the eliminated positions affect all departments — both administrative and medical — and all locations, both in the Midlands and Upstate. The hospital system declined to specify how many layoffs were in the Columbia market versus Greenville.

Another 200 positions have already been eliminated through attrition, cutting 527 jobs from the hospital system’s 32,000-person workforce.

Those losing their jobs will receive severance pay and outplacement services or can apply for other open positions with the company, The Post and Courier reported.

“When we formed Prisma Health 26 months ago, we began integrating and consolidating functions to gain the benefits of scale and to remove costs from the organization,” CEO Mark O’Halla said in a written statement.

“We have already eliminated duplicative executive management positions, restructured leadership, and gained significant cost savings in supplies, technology and other areas,” he added.

Additional expense-reduction strategies have been identified, he said.

“These are difficult decisions, but we need to make them now so we can provide the quality care our patients deserve in a financially sustainable manner that positions us for future growth opportunities,” he said.

With the layoffs, Prisma Health Greenville Memorial Hospital will close its 15-bed Subacute Unit in March, while the Children’s Residential Program in Greenville will be phased out in April.

Prisma Health was formed from the merger of Columbia-based Palmetto Health and Greenville Health System in 2018. At the beginning of 2019, Palmetto Health laid off 140 employees to cut costs, just before the two hospitals came together under the Prisma banner.

Prisma serves 1.2 million patients a year and brings in $3.9 billion in annual revenue.

O’Halla called the system “fundamentally solid,” and added there would be more streamlining to “make it more efficient, while also making investments in growth and expansion to meet the evolving needs of our patients and the communities we serve.”

“This is the new normal for us and all other successful health-care organizations,” he said.

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