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Dosher trustees vote to cut staff

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SOUTHPORT, NC (WWAY) -- Trustees have decided how Dosher Memorial Hospital in Southport will cut costs to make up for financial struggles.

Last month WWAY was first to report the hospital was preparing employees for potential layoffs or early retirement packages.

In a unanimous decision today Dosher trustees voted to pursue early retirement plans and reduce staffing.

It's unwelcome news for the community.

"We really need this hospital, and laying off staff isn't good for patients who come here. it's not good for them either as employees," said Brenda Fisher, who has been a patient at the hospital.

Dosher CEO Tom Siemers says the loss of physicians, increased costs, reduction in payments and reimbursements and increase in uncompensated care are to blame for the current financial situation. But could recent renovations and updates also be to blame?

"Those projects did not have bearing on the board's decision to pursue this plan," Dosher spokesman Kirk Singer said.

Singer says right now it is unclear how many jobs will be cut.

Workers we spoke with did not want to go on camera, but community members say they are not happy with the decision.

"Quite frankly, I'm very disappointed," Southport resident Sherry Soto said. "As a consumer in a new community, I want all the health services that can possibly be provided. and, i think with a cut, that means possibly a cut in healthcare services."

Fisher says there are things the board can do to improve finances that does not include firing workers.

"I think we should ask for donations from the community," she said, "because that's what the hospital is here for: to serve."

Singer says he will release a statement with more details about the layoffs and early retirement packages tomorrow.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.

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Follow the Money

You think someone would ask the question why there is a line item on the budget called Professional services and the expense of that item is one million dollars over budget. While the budget for staff salaries is right on budget and staff benefits are below budget. Why are they blaming the shortage on staff? Who is getting that Million Dollars. Can someone ask the Administration and the Board where this money is going?

Where have you gone Joe Agovino?

Where have you gone Joe Agovino?
Joe was a huge supporter of Dosher"s housekeeping team for providing a clean safe environment for its patients. Where was your support Joe when you voted to dismantle the housekeeping department? You eliminated the supervisor and put the health and infection control of the patients in the hands of the maintenance dept. Between those asked to retire and the ones laid off, nearly half the housekeepers are gone. How much of that million dollar shortage is going to be made up by getting rid of some single mothers earning just over $8/hour

Dosher layoffs

I feel like longstanding smithville township board members should be on the board , the next vote, these board members are so in the dark and not supporting the needs of this town and Dosher hospital, you should all be ashamed of yourselves to let this continue, this is a travisty and these folks are doing what the did in other places together , dismantling this hospital and selling it to the highest bidder, I agree this administration and this board need to be investigated, all you folks in the hospital and smithville township need to stand up and have a voice, and stand up for the right thing

What kind of an organization

What kind of an organization pages people overhead to let them know they're losing their jobs?! Talk about adding insult to serious injury! The powers that be at Dosher should ashamed. I would love to see a thorough investigation of the business practices at Dosher since Tom Siemers took charge. I think the community that has supported Dosher for so many years deserves to know how their hospital has been systematically dismantled, made unsafe for patients and staff alike, and how their family and friends who have given so much of themselves have been demoralized and abused. The idea that these cuts are purely due to budget woes is smoke and mirrors.

Dosher layoffs

As an employee of Dosher for many years I have never been so appalled , yes employees were called overhead we were all sad , employees called out over the intercom, and not being released with dignity, and admidst all of this Carol Noethup and her buttkissing sqaud ,as we call them, were sitting in the cafeteria laughing and joking in Doshers cafeteria jus before 12 pm on Wed. While all the other employees were scared to death, this administration has no morals and values, at least act like you care others are losing their jobs,

Carol the Heartless

It is great to finally see that what is going on at Dosher since T-- took over is now starting to show. He is a heartless administrator and brought in his assassins to destroy this hospital. He and Carol have gotten rid of some really talented and Caring employees and replaced them with staff that only say yes to his every whim. We can only hope that he has not wrecked it beyond repair. This facility is Two Stars at Best, but the snake salesman running it can talk their way out of anything. Losing your job after many years of service to this facility is NOT a Laughing matter. It Hurts for a long time!!!!!

Dosher Layoffs

Many people are hurt by these layoffs and forced early retirement. Have the CEO Tom Siemers, CFO Dan Porter, and CNO Carol Northup taken paycuts to help ease some of the financial burden?

Accountability from the Top

Is there any way to find out if those Administrators are sacrificing anything or just making the employees take all the pain? This definitely sounds like the plan from the beginning was to strip Dosher and sell it. Disgusting! Those 3 are despicable and the Board ought to be ashamed of themselves.

Sad to see so many people uninformed of healthcare issues

I watched the responses from the former patients who think that donations from the community will save the hospital. First, there is a tax, so the community is already giving. Second, this is a national issue. All hospitals this size and slightly larger are looking at whether they can survive without being a part of a larger healthcare organization. That has been a question for about 8 to 10 years now. Remember when Novant tried to publicly take over about 8 years ago publishing what their management product look like? No? You don't remember that? Dosher leveraged themselves for as long as they could, and no cuts to fancy catering or other "squandering" will offset that the governor has cut medicaid expansion which impacts all of the hospitals in N.C. So now, the hospitals will get ANOTHER 3% less reimbursement rate for the medicaid population... and medicaid reimburses LESS THAN COST (not charges), so how do you expect any hospital to not suffer with that model?

Dosher layoffs

You know what Margaret Minuth you do not know what you are talking about, this is not the old Dosher that was here when you were the marketing director, you have no idea what all has been going on in this hospital, yes some insurance cuts are a small part of the problem but there are far more greater issues here, this is not the old Dosher you were employees by

Dosher lay-offs

I have previously used Dosher Hospital services and I will not use them again. Their prices for tests and other services are outrageous and my insurance does pay s certain percent but I have a balance that I have to pay which is large due to Dosher's overpricing. Dosher is convenient to the city of Southport but, from now on when I need tests and services from a hospital, I will travel to the new Novant Hospital on route 17. I feel that the new administration should look to cutting their salaries instead of laying off employees that are necessary for the continuing of the hospital. Nurses, CNAs and other educated employees are needed for the hospital to continue running smoothly and within budgets.

You clearly need a better

You clearly need a better understanding of your insurance and your out of pocket expenses.

Your balance due...

is most likely due to you using a non-participating provider for your tests. If this is the case, the hospital is legally allowed to balance-bill you for the amount your insurance does not pay.

Dosher lay-offs

Yes, I am using a non-participating insurance company but comparing the prices of tests from Dosher and Novant, Dosher is about 45% higher with certain tests than Novant. I realize that Dosher is more convenient for me but I now save money going to Novant considering the lower gas prices. I still feel that the administration should look to their salary cuts as a way to help with the budget cuts, not cutting costs by laying off staff that is needed to keep the hospital running properly.

Dosher Layoffs

That's fine, as an current employee of Dosher ,if the economic times has caught up with us that would be fine , but not entirely true, , we have lost money , but I am telling you as an employee of this hospital ,that this current administration that has worked together in the past, has sunk this hospital. This administration has wasted many dollars on expensive caterings, unnessecary trips for its higher ups and a complete waste fullness of Dosher dollars for their own means. This is also a part of Doshers downfall. If we had the smart board of Dosher trustees,that we had two years ago we would be researching this. I think the current trustees are either daft or as shady as the current administration we have now.

I am sure you are on the

I am sure you are on the money here. However, Dosher has caused many people to go elsewhere for other reasons. My wife had some X rays done there some years ago. Dosher sent the films out to be read, therefore, we got double-dipped with 2 bills, one from Dosher radiology and another from somebody else for reading them. I told her from now on, to go to Wilmington where reading the results was done by the radiologist. This it absolutely unacceptable and a very expensive way of doing things. I also wonder if all the building and modernizations are really necessary or just for show. No need having cutting edge services if no one can afford them.

Dosher Billing

You will always receive two bills for x-rays. One from the facility doing the x-ray (Dosher or Novant) and a second bill from the radiology group reading your x-ray (Delaney Radiology). This is typical procedure and not exclusive to Dosher Hospital.

Hospital bills

Hate to break it to you, but all hospitals do that. Most physician services are contracted. Go to New Hanover ER and need x-rays and lab work, expect a bill from the hospital for the "technical component" which is the actual taking of the x-rays by the radiology tech or actual tests run in the laboratory AND a bill from the physician group for the "professional component" which is the radiologist or pathologist interpreting the results. Sucks, but it's not uncommon.

The x-rays were not "sent

The x-rays were not "sent out" to be read as you stated , they are read on site by a Board certified Radiologist that is contracted by the hospital. That group happens to be Delaney Radiologists. And yes you will receive a separate bill just like you receive a separate bill from the anesthesiologist when you have surgery . This will happen whether you go to NMRMC, Cape Fear , Medical Mall, etc. Where ever Delaney is contracted to x-rays.

"sent out" images

Mrs. Brady...you are incorrect. X-ray images are "sent out" to be read by an off site Radiogist when images are obtained after hours for STAT/preliminary reads. An official read and report is done the next day by another Radiologist, but there should only be one fee for the read / reading per image.

Not so..........Never

Not so..........Never received a separate bill for any x-ray interpretations done at NHRMC. Anesthesiologists, yes, Radiology, no. Wife was there for 3 separate procedures and only one bill from Radiology. Any radiology department worth its salt would have someone on staff to read x-rays. I suppose next you'll tell me Delaney sends 2 bills?

I have been to New Hanover a

I have been to New Hanover a number of times over the years with various tests and have received a bill from Delaney for everything that needed to be read by a radiologist.