Delaware County’s biggest health system, Crozer-Keystone Health System, will lay off hundreds of employees after sustaining losses of nearly $16 million.

 

Crozer-Keystone will shed 250 jobs from is roster of 6,800 employees.

Delaware County Council Chairman Thomas McGarrigle said he’s not surprised that the health care sector is struggling.

“I don't see this being a problem with the economy in Delaware County," he said Friday. "I really just see it as something that needs to be addressed at the federal and state level with reimbursement to hospitals, so they are paid the amount of money they need to properly take care of patients."

In addition to losing nearly $16 million since July, Crozer-Keystone officials also cited a string of financial pressures including fewer in-patient admissions and more patients without insurance.

The hospital also serves fewer and fewer people with traditional insurance, according to a Crozer-Keystone statement.

Medical centers also are adjusting to changes that reward hospitals based on health outcomes instead of simply how many patients they see, said Priscilla Koutsouradis of the Delaware Valley Healthcare Council, the region's hospital association.

“The payment systems aren't necessarily all the way there yet, so it's kind like operating in two worlds right now,” Koutsouradis said.

Crozer-Keystone officials said they decided on layoffs only after trying to reduce costs other ways, such as leaving positions vacant and modifying benefits packages.