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Layoffs not 'currently' planned as UAMS grapples with projected deficit

By Gavin Lesnick

This article was published January 24, 2014 at 11:08 a.m.

A day after telling a University of Arkansas trustees committee of a nearly $29 million projected deficit at UAMS, Chancellor Dr. Dan Rahn outlined some strategies to reduce it and said layoffs are not "currently" planned.

"Our goal is to avoid layoffs," he said before a presentation at Friday's full meeting of the board of trustees at the Little Rock hospital. "We're not currently planning layoffs. But with restructuring and cost-savings measures, we will likely see some positions go away and new ones created. And if we are not successful in achieving these goals, then we would have to take stronger measures."

Rahn said the $29 million figure reflects the deficit if UAMS took no steps, adding the "positive financial impact of newly-insured patients" could reduce it by up to $9 million and cost-controlling measures and efficiencies could further reduce it.

"The financial projections that I showed you yesterday are not what's going to happen," Rahn told the board. "Those projections are what would happen without a significant change in course and without the insurance expansion through the insurance exchange created by the federal Affordable Care Act and by the private option insurance expansion for the Medicaid population adopted by the General Assembly here in Arkansas last year."

Newly insured patients had been projected to bring in upwards of $14 million, but Rahn said Friday that that figure was "overly optimistic." Still, the reduced $9 million projection will help the situation, he stressed.

"We will see new revenue associated with care of patients who are newly insured," he said. "And that's about a third of the problem. It's not insignificant."

Rahn added that UAMS' problems are "compounded to some extent by the large number of uninsured patients in the state of Arkansas and by our heavy reliance on patient-care revenue."

He said UAMS can have a balanced budget by the end of the next fiscal year.

"But we will almost certainly require assistance with our state appropriations in the future," he said. "And we have to undergo significant change internally as our external environment changes."

Comments on: Layoffs not 'currently' planned as UAMS grapples with projected deficit

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NoUserName says... January 24, 2014 at 6:57 p.m.

How much did Epic (disaster) cost?

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flipflop says... January 25, 2014 at 5:33 a.m.

NoUserName-Epic system is 6 million over budget and still not up and running! It is a true disaster. Also, Dr. Rahn WASTED over 8 million on Navigant Consulting to accomplish absolutely NOTHING. He gets paid over 800K per year to lose and sqaunder this kind of money, heck-anyone can do that. UAMS has 4 interpreters getting paid over 50K/yr each to cater to the illegal Mexicans and coax them and their anchor babies on to our Medicaid program, Baptist uses a Kiosk to do the same thing. Why does UAMS pay for thousands of cell phones for the doctors, who should be able to afford their own phones? The other hospitals do not pay for the physicians' phones. The clinics are all a disaster, the average wait time is over an hour to get in to see a doctor, and that is why the insured, paying customers choose to go elsewhere. Start at the top with the layoffs!!

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arfan8400 says... February 12, 2014 at 5:47 p.m.

The layoffs came to the Lowell UAMS Centers for Children today when they cut 6 employees. This is directly a result of bad if not piss poor human resource management in that center. One thing I do know is that low level employees who are currently engaged in inappropriate sexual relationships with attending doctors in that center will be allowed to keep their jobs while honset hard working employees are being showed the door. It is wrong that inappropriate sexual relationships are allowed to out shadow honset hard work. This is yet another reason why UAMS is failing. I for one will be seeking legal representation for a sexual harassment lawsuit against UAMS tomorrow morning, I wonder what this will do to their little budget problem.

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