Fifty-three positions have been eliminated at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF), the organization announced Wednesday (Dec. 1).
The layoffs were made "to reduce cost and improve affordability for our patients," spokeswoman Cynthia Greaves said.
Those affected included nurses, medical assistants, patient-service representatives and imaging staff from multiple locations in Alameda, Santa Cruz and Santa Clara counties, Greaves said.
"Health care reform is already bringing reductions in Medicare reimbursement," Greaves said. "Commercial insurance companies are demanding lower costs, and employers are reducing their contribution to health care benefits for employees."
The changes from the health care reform have affected what Greaves called their "affordability goals," leading PAMF to terminate the 53 employees.
Before letting go any employees, PAMF offered a voluntary early-exit program and eliminated any vacant positions. While terminating positions, the organization also sought to move employees into open positions before laying the workers off.
"This action was not easily taken and was pursued only after long and careful review of many options," Greaves stated. According to a press release, PAMF will support those who lost their jobs through the transition and will keep the former employees informed of new job postings within PAMF when they arise.
"This has been a very difficult decision for all of us and a new experience for our organization and its culture," Greaves said. "We promise to respect and support the people affected by these changes, and we will continue to provide open and honest communication as we address the challenges ahead."
PAMF has approximately 4,600 employees.