CHARLESTON, W.Va.--Charleston Area Medical Center will be reducing jobs, leaving open positions unfilled and cutting hours and overtime to trim $15 million from its budget by the end of 2011.
Hospital officials could not yet say the specific number of positions that will be affected.
CAMC operates three hospitals in Charleston - General, Memorial and Women and Children's - and a fourth in Teays Valley.
The hospitals plans to cut about 1.8 percent of the hospital's $825 million budget, namely $15 million in labor costs, said a CAMC official Monday.
"There's going to be positions that aren't going to be here next year," said spokesman Dale Witte. "We are hoping to keep those at a minimum through attrition or reducing overtime or other ways - but there will be some positions that won't be here in the budget."
Witte said CAMC is calling the changes a "re-alignment" and is not using the term "layoff."
The hospital system is the third largest private employer in West Virginia, behind Walmart and West Virginia United Health System.
CAMC also has the largest private payroll in the Kanawha Valley, said County Commission President Kent Carper.
"I cannot emphasize how critically important they are to the state of the economy," he said.
Witte said it's not clear how many hours CAMC will have to reduce or how many positions will be cut or left unfilled. The reductions will be made over an 18-month period that began this summer.
"What we're expecting is that doing this long term for the next 18 months or so, we'll be able to do it a lot smoother," he said. "We'll work on the re-alignment: some people will be shifted within the organization, some open positions won't be filled. There won't be many layoffs or job losses or anything like that."
While $15 million amounts to just less than 2 percent of the overall operation budget, it is almost 4 percent of CAMC's roughly $400 million annual personnel costs, according to a 2009 financial statement.