Am I Next? Wells Fargo Lay Offs - 600 at Winterville Operations Facility

Wells Fargo, beset by scandal and increased regulatory scrutiny has announced that it will lay off 593 works at its Winterville Dealer Service Center near Greenville, North Carolina with the work being distributed to other Wells Fargo facilities in Raleigh, North Carolina, Minneapolis, Chandler, Arizona, and Irving Texas.

It has been reported that the layoffs are directly attributable to Wells Fargo’s decision to close its Wells Fargo Auto, Corporate Finance, Corporate Risk, Enterprise HR Solution, Enterprise Information Technology, Marketing, Operations and Operational Risk and Compliance business units at the Winterville facility

It is no secret that the automotive lending industry is under intense scrutiny as regulators attempt to impose many of the same financial controls and consumer disclosures that are found in other financial sectors, namely the mortgage industry. Or that Wells Fargo is responsible for over $1 billion in fines and penalties for past behavior. 

In the end, the costs of any malfeasance or financial improprieties are borne by the shareholders, the depositors, and most of all, the employees.  

Are you asking yourself, Am I Next?


 Am I Next? Bay Area Medical Center: Bankruptcy, Closure, Layoffs



Bay Area Regional Medical Center, a five-year-old, $200 million facility in Webster, Texas has announced that they will be closing its hospital facility and laying up to 900 workers as they file for bankruptcy. 

 Am I Next? Bay Area Medical Center filing for bankruptcy, closing facility, 900 layoffs.


The nine-story, 375,000-square-foot Bay Area Regional Medical Center facility opened on July 21, 2014, with 104 patient suites, including 22 intensive care unit rooms. The acute-care hospital also provides a full-service emergency room with 11 treatment rooms, three cardiac-catheter suites and five operating suites, including one hybrid operating room which functions as a dual cardiac-catheter and operating suite. The facility is supported by a 6-story parking garage and accommodations of 675 vehicles. Plans to add an additional two floors to increase the number of beds to over 250 will accommodate population growth in the area. Because Webster, Texas lies in a known tornado-hurricane zone, the hospital has been specially engineered to withstand excessive winds. 

CEO Stephen K. Jones issued the following statement …

“It is with a heavy heart that I announce that Bay Area Regional will close its doors on May 10, 2018. We want to thank our staff who worked tirelessly, physicians who chose to practice medicine and patients who received care at our hospital.”

To be noted, CEO Jones assumed his current position after the death of predecessor Tim Schmidt of pancreatic cancer in May 2017.

According to Medical Center spokesperson Santiago Mendoza, Jr. …

“Utilization of the hospital was not an issue contributing to the closure. In the latest market share data that just came out, we were the second busiest hospital in this market for most service lines and the No. 1 in for orthopedics. It’s a shame we’re closing,” he said. “Unfortunately we were not able to get favorable contracts with managed care companies, insurance companies.”

The 191-bed hospital, which was built through a partnership between Medistar Corporation and Surgical Development Partners and is owned by Houston-based Medistar Corporation. There was no mention of  Medistar’s Webster Medical Plaza which was to provide adjacent medical offices in close proximity to the hospital. 

This is the type of story that makes you wonder about the status of healthcare reform post ACA (Affordable Care Act) that saw insurance rolls, especially under Medicaid, dramatically increased with no corresponding increase of facilities, physicians, and diagnostic equipment. To allow a modern facility such as the Bay Area Regional Medical Center to die is inexcusable. 

But one wonders if this bankruptcy is a ploy to legally reduce debts by converting them into equity and to allow another, more politically-connected, operator to assume control over the facility “on the cheap?” In any event, it is the employees who will suffer. 

Are you asking yourself, Am I Next?


 Am I Next? Layoffs -- Express Scripts Closing Facility

Headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, Express Scripts, the integrated pharmacy benefit manager acquired in March 2018 by Cigna for $67 billion, has announced the layoff of up to 500 employees when it closed their Columbus, Ohio pharmacy facility.

The layoff will include pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and clerical staff. Express Scripts claims that the layoffs are not related to the Cigna acquisition but is part of a normal and customary business affairs realignment.  

Or in corporate speak ...

“As part of our regular business practices, we continually assess our operational needs to ensure we're as efficient as possible while meeting the needs of the clients and members we serve.  As we continue to increase automation combined with the market adoption of electronic and digital tools, a thorough evaluation of our pharmacies shows that our future staffing needs are less than our current levels. As a result, we are closing our Columbus pharmacy. The pharmacy will close in a phased approach and be fully decommissioned this summer.”

Express Scripts is the largest pharmacy benefits manager in the nation and is part of the conduit between drug manufacturers, insurers, prescribers, and patients.  

One of the industry’s greatest fears is being disintermediated by an algorithmic auction where the patient can electronically access and authorize their own prescriptions and using a Google-like auction and have that prescription competitively sold to the lowest bidder. Or even worse, allow the drug companies to transact the sale directly and fulfill through a regional or local facility. 

Are you asking yourself, Am I Next?