DMC plans layoffs of 1% of workforce

Mark Hicks
The Detroit News
DMC Sinai Grace Hospital in northwest Detroit on  January 17, 2019.

Correction: This story has been updated to reflect that 1% of the DMC workforce would be 117 people.

The Detroit Medical Center is laying off workers after eliminating 300 jobs last year, officials confirmed Wednesday.

The layoffs are expected to affect about 1% of its workforce, which is currently 11,739, said a representative for the eight-hospital health system. This means there could be as many as 117 employees impacted. 

"While we are making these reductions, we maintain a robust list of open positions, with more than 500 open roles, including over 400 clinical roles," DMC said.

The decision was not prompted by recent cost-cutting measures by its for-profit owner, Tenet Healthcare of Dallas, DMC said in a statement. In its fourth-quarter results presentation, Tenet officials indicated they plan to cut costs $200 million by the end of this year.

“The DMC is committed to providing our patients and communities with access to high-quality and affordable care, and we will continue to prioritize allocating our resources where it can make the most difference in serving patients," according to the DMC statement.

"...Treating those affected by these changes with dignity and respect is of the utmost importance to our organization. We are working with affected employees by providing severance packages, outplacement assistance and helping those eligible apply for other positions within our organization.”

Last year, the hospital system said it planned to shed as many as 300 jobs as part of a restructuring plan to retool its operations.

In 2017, DMC was forced by the state and federal governments to overhaul its instrument-cleaning operations or risk losing its certification after The Detroit News reported the chain's surgeons and staffers complained for at least 11 years about improperly cleaned, broken and missing surgical instruments.

The DMC trimmed its workforce 1 percent in 2016 but exempted staff from its Central Sterile Processing facility in the basement of Detroit Receiving Hospital that cleans and sterilizes surgical instruments used at Receiving, Detroit Children's Hospital, Harper University Hospital, Hutzel Women's Hospital and Heart Hospital.

Meanwhile, Tenet, a hospital chain that bought DMC in 2013 from Tennessee-based Vanguard Health Systems, recently reported a net loss of $27 million in the first quarter of this year compared with net income or profit of $98 million during the same quarter in 2018.