While Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital opens its new $57 million addition this week, dozens of workers were laid off from Samaritan Health Services’ home health care and hospice services departments as Samaritan Health Services gives hospice care services to Samaritan Evergreen Hospice and hands over home health care services to private care provider Signature Healthcare.
Samaritan Health Services officials stressed the employees who were let go can apply for new positions at Samaritan Evergreen Hospice as that division expands operations into Newport.
“They can also choose to apply for positions on Signature Healthcare’s website,” said Julie Manning, a spokesperson for Samaritan Health Services.
The layoffs come at a time of otherwise great celebration for Samaritan, which started operating out of the new hospital addition in Newport Monday following a weekend of hospital staff moving in supplies and orienting themselves to their new surroundings.
According to a statement released by Samaritan Health Services, financial reimbursement went down for several years despite home health care and hospice services actually growing in Lincoln County.
“Medicare and other healthcare providers make decisions about what they’re going to pay for different health services,” Manning said Tuesday. “We just didn’t feel we could continue to provide that service.”
The new hospice services office is expected to take up space in a building on Southwest 11th Street in Newport and home health care operations will be housed in the Bay View Building on the hospital campus.