GLENS FALLS — Glens Falls Hospital has shed 850 jobs over the past two years, according to its self-reported employment figures.
The cuts began in 2017 when the hospital could not get bills paid because of a malfunctioning new billing system.
IRS filings by the hospital show that its average quarterly employment was 3,550 in 2016 and dropped to 3,290 in 2017.
The hospital has not yet filed its 2018 report to the IRS, which is submitted on form 990. It has until May 15 and can ask for extensions.
Hospital President and CEO Dianne Shugrue has said publicly, however, that the hospital has about 2,700 employees now. That would be a workforce reduction of 850 jobs.
The hospital has “canceled” some contracts with doctors as well as cutting staff, Shugrue said at a presentation two weeks ago.
“Honestly, really tough decisions have had to be made,” she said. “We’re trying to align compensation and productivity. We’re looking for new employment models.”
And more cuts might be coming, because fewer patients are going to the hospital, she said.
“We will likely have to make more tough decisions this year,” she said, adding that the hospital also needs to restructure contracts in services and supplies.
“If we’re a smaller organization, do we have the right overhead?” she said.
She emphasized that the hospital was trying to cut positions.
The hospital is “right-sizing” to meet “current volume trends,” she said.
Recent cuts included 58 “full-time equivalent” positions.
“That doesn’t mean 58 people were impacted, because some people retired, some positions were vacant,” she said.
It could also mean more than 58 people were affected. Two part-timers could equal one “full-time equivalent” position.
Cuts included two leadership positions: the vice president of human relations and the chief information officer, Shugrue said.
But on Monday, hospital Vice President Tracy Mills disputed that 3,550 jobs reported to the IRS minus 2,700 jobs now reported by Shugrue equals a reduction of 850 jobs.
“You are pulling information from different sources that use different calculations. In simplest terms, you are not comparing apples to apples. This methodology is completely flawed,” Mills said in an email.
When asked how Shugrue could count jobs differently from the way the hospital counted them for the IRS, Mills said the IRS did not want to know the number of employees on any given day.
“The 3,550 refers to the # of people who were employed at the hospital over the course of the entire year,” Mills said in an email.
That is not how the IRS counts employees, however.
According to the IRS, large companies count all of their employees — full and part-time — every pay period. For the annual figure, the IRS takes the average of those counts.
Mills said that may be the way accountants calculated the hospital’s employment, but that’s not how Shugrue is counting it.
“The 2,700 figure is a round, average, easily to understand number that we use to describe our workforce to the public, as the actual count of bodies that we employ at any given point in time changes quite regularly, due to a whole host of operational reasons,” she said in an email.
This is not the first time hospital officials have had difficulty explaining how many positions have been cut.
In January, a hospital spokeswoman said 25 people had been laid off when the hospital closed two units — inpatient acute rehab and the Center for Occupational Health.
“In total, 25 individuals have been impacted and are no longer with the organization. This includes both full and part time positions,” spokeswoman Katelyn Cinzio said in a January email.
Then, at the presentation two weeks ago, Shugrue said 38.6 full-time-equivalent positions were cut in those closings. Officials later said there could have been vacancies and retirements to make up the difference in the two figures, but could not provide specific numbers.
As for the purpose of the job cuts, Shugrue said the cuts would not solve the hospital’s financial problems. The cuts would not be enough to make up the 17 percent loss she says the hospital incurs for every Medicare patient.
“There’s no way we can shrink compensation enough to make that math work,” she said.
Glens Falls Hospital IRS 990s 2009-2017
The following are IRS 990 forms for Glens Falls Hospital from 2009 through 2017.
Employment averages can be found in Part I on line 5.