“If only I had known” … the wailed lament of employees who suddenly are surprised that there employment is being terminated in a restructuring effort to eliminate duplicate functionality and to reduce operating costs. Synergy means absolutely nothing to an employee as individuals are not often the recipient of combined and improved companies. In fact, they are often more stressed as they are forced to do more work with fewer resources.
It appears that two large Catholic hospital organizations, Ascension Health (St. Louis, Missouri) and Providence St. Joseph Renton, Washington) are engaged in merger talks that would create the largest hospital chain in the United States. A combination of 191 hospitals, numerous free-standing clinics and revenue approaching $45 BILLION dollars. As non-profits, the hospitals receive tax exemptions in return for servicing indigents and others in their respective communities.
Not only would the merger require government approvals, but the combined organization would be subject to the uncertainty of government healthcare reimbursement coverages and rates. As per previous posts, numerous layoffs have occurred within the medical environment with employers citing an increased Medicaid patient load combined with reduced reimbursement rates.
Along with mergers, comes the closing of facilities and the inevitable reduction in force to eliminate duplicative services and those employees deemed unnecessary to support the day-to-day hospital operations. The question of how best to plan for an uncertain future involves a number of factors: a reduced standard of living, the pay-down of existing debt, the creation of a safety fund to cushion any employment disruptions, and the development of multiple independent income streams or side hustles as they are colloquially called. Also, a consideration of potential mobility to allow individuals to seek employment out of their current community.
Do not be the one to lament not seeing the handwriting on the wall. An vigilant and informed employee is one that can feather their own nests before being kicked out of the family nest.