West Suburban Medical Center, 3 Erie St., and Weiss Memorial Hospital in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood trimmed their workforce, March 6, laying off workers primarily in administrative and support roles. Hospital operator Pipeline Health acquired both hospitals last year.

While awkwardly timed, the cuts are completely unrelated to the coronavirus outbreak.

“The reductions were necessitated by the state of Illinois being months behind in paying Medicaid funding owed to hospitals,” said Natalie Bauer Luce, West Suburban’s public relations representative. 

According to Bauer Luce, the state owes the hospitals $15 million in Medicaid funds. 

“The failure to pay hospitals serving large numbers of Medicaid patients has severely strained the hospitals, frankly, at exactly the time hospitals need the state’s support and funding the most,” she said.

Since the cuts were made to mostly administrative staff, they should not impact the ability of West Suburban and Weiss to treat patients and at this time, both are looking to hire more nurses for frontline patient care.

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