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Published on May 22, 2024
Tufts Medicine Trims 174 Jobs Amid Financial Struggles, Affecting Non-Clinical Roles in MassachusettsSource: Google Street View

In a significant blow to its workforce, Tufts Medicine, an expansive healthcare system in Massachusetts, has confirmed it's slashing 174 jobs in a bid to stabilize its shaky financial foundation. The cuts come at a time when the organization already faces uphill struggles with tight capacity constraints, soaring contract labor expenses, and a squeeze in supply chain expenditures, as reported by WCVB.

Tufts Medicine, which employees a robust 13,000-person workforce, will see administrative and non-direct patient care roles predominantly affected by these layoffs, according to a statement obtained by The Boston Globe, the layoffs represent approximately 1.3 percent of the total employees. "Our Tufts Medicine employees are talented, dedicated, highly-valued contributors to our mission and values. That’s why decisions like this, while sometimes necessary, are extremely difficult," a spokesperson disclosed in a sentiment echoing across the facilities of Tufts Medical Center, MelroseWakefield Hospital, and Lowell General Hospital, according to WCVB.

President and Chief Executive Michael Dandorph detailed in a letter to his staff the dire state of affairs where reimbursements are lagging behind surging expenditures. A considerable chunk of Tufts's patient demographic is covered by government-funded insurance programs that typically offer lower payment rates compared to commercial insurance entities. Dandorph firmly insists that these layoffs are not the sole strategy to fund their mission, emphasizing the need to reduce their reliance on travel staffing, improve patient flow, and optimize other processes to ensure they are capturing revenue and working as efficiently and effectively as possible.

These layoffs aren’t the first for the health system, which, as Boston 25 News reported, have been recurrent in the past year with a previous reduction in workforce in January and August. Despite these efforts, Tufts battled a $171 million operating loss for the year ending in September 2023, though a marked improvement from a near $400 million loss the year before, painting a less than rosy financial portrait, deepened by the fact that large health systems like Beth Israel Lahey Health and Steward Health Care have also grappled with similar economic pressures, with Steward currently navigating bankruptcy proceedings.