One of the nation's largest HMOs is laying off 530 employees in Southern California this weekend, a company official confirmed Saturday.
Kaiser Permanente said the layoffs -- constituting about eight-tenths of
one percent of its employees -- would be spread across its 65,700 employees
and doctors working in offices and hospitals from Kern County to the Mexican
Under its union contracts, the laid-off employees who are in unions will
get income and benefits for a year.
Many may also be rehired next year, when Kaiser Permanente expects "significant membership growth," a statement issued by the company read.
"Health care in America is in the midst of one of the most exciting and
challenging times in its history, the firm said in a statement.
"We have undertaken a series of cost-reduction initiatives to ensure we meet these changing dynamics, and they include some position eliminations.
"It is important to note that none of these position eliminations will
in any way jeopardize the quality of patient care, which is always our primary
focus," the corporate statement read.
Nationwide, the health care industry is undergoing structural changes to
adopt to the new federal Affordable Health Care Act -- commonly called
Information on the exact layoff locations was not available, a spokesperson said, because some of the affected employees may be offered other vacant positions as it makes staffing adjustments next week.
A union official told the Inland Daily Bulletin that the laid-off employees will be able to take advantage of a retraining and education program that will keep them paid and insured for up to one year.