Well, this is a bad economic indicator for the Houston area:
Financially ailing MD Anderson Cancer Center will announce today it will cut its workforce by 5 percent through layoffs and retirements.
Dan Fontaine, Anderson’s chief financial officer, confirmed Thursday morning a little less than 1,000 of the staff of 2o,000 [sic] will be leaving the world-renowned cancer hospital. Some of those people are expected to volunteer to retire, he said.
Dr. Ronald DePinho, president of the cancer center, Fontaine and other officials set a press conference today to announce the workforce reduction.
Anderson officials said before Christmas they were considering staff cutbacks as the Houston cancer hospital tries to shore up its finances. During the September-through-November quarter, Anderson posted $110 million in operating losses.
Officials said in the advisory MD Anderson’s long-term financial health remains strong. Last month, officials said the operating budget is an important indicator of the cancer hospital’s ability to be self-sufficient, but it doesn’t take into account other revenue streams like state funding, charitable gifts and investement [sic] income. At that time, officials said Anderson has $2.8 billion in cash on reserve.
Other factors also are at play, Fontaine said, including patients’ higher insurance deductibles and a shrinking number of insurers willing to pay for MD Anderson’s expensive cancer treatments.
Belt-tightening measures already are paying off, he said, noting that the $9 million operating loss in November was far smaller than the $102 million in losses recorded in September and October. Those losses followed seven months of operating losses to end fiscal 2016.
MD Anderson is one of the premier cancer centers in the world, and my father received treatment there during his terminal illness. I wonder if the relentless cost-cutting required by ObamaCare was a contributing factor, as MD Anderson has been dropped by all ObamaCare plans.
Also, the folks at the Houston Chronicle should have their proofreaders do a better once-over for breaking stories. Those two typos I’ve noted [sic] for should have been caught…