Kaiser Cutting More Than 1,800 Positions in California

By Staff Report

Aug. 13, 2009

Kaiser Permanente is eliminating 1,850 jobs in California, or about 1.5 percent of its total workforce, citing enrollment losses, lower patient volume and slowing revenue.

Approximately 1,200 positions will be cut in Northern California, while 650 jobs are being eliminated in Southern California, according to Kaiser Permanente officials.

About one-third of the job cuts in Northern California will be temporary, on-call or short-hour positions, Kaiser Permanente said in a written statement. Southern California job cuts are mostly unionized support staff, and not direct patient care positions, a spokesman said.

Most medical centers in California will experience layoffs.

The Oakland, California-based not-for-profit managed care giant cited an uncertain industry environment as a reason for the cuts, including lower Medicare reimbursement rates and “changes related to healthcare reform,” according to a statement.

Affected employees will be placed in other positions where possible, and incentives will be offered for certain groups of employees to voluntarily leave the system.

“Our hope is that the number of people who choose voluntary separation will help reduce the number of employees affected by the position eliminations,” Gay Westfall, senior vice president of human resources at Kaiser Northern California, said in a statement.

Filed by Rebecca Vesely of Modern Healthcare, a sister publication of Workforce Management. To comment, e-mail

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