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Sutter Health layoffs continue with 400 jobs lost

Sutter Health said it incurred an operating loss of $321 million last year and $49 million in the first quarter of 2021.

CALIFORNIA, USA — Sutter Health announced on Thursday, June 3 it laid off 400 employees throughout its health network.

The health network includes 24 acute care hospitals and over 200 clinics in Northern California, but is based in Sacramento. Sutter Health did not say which hospitals and clinics specifically would be affected by the layoffs. 

"We did this so that Sutter can continue to focus our resources to delivering affordable, high-quality patient care," Sutter Health said in a statement.

Sutter Health added that the health network is continuing to evaluate its care model. This means Sutter Health may continue to layoff staff, but the network said it would look to other solutions to avoid reducing staff further. 

"Moving forward, we will continue to work to minimize staff reductions and their impact on our dedicated employees as we look for ways to eliminate variation, streamline resources and more efficiently manage our indirect costs," Sutter Health said.   

These alternatives could include restructuring departments, closing programs and reducing services where patient demand is declining.

Sutter Health identified the COVID-19 pandemic as a major factor behind the layoffs. Coronavirus "exacerbated" earlier challenges of increasing costs and a "changing healthcare landscape."

Sutter Health said it experienced an operating loss of $1 billion in 2020 amid the pandemic. Federal CARES Act funding helped offset those losses, but still the health network incurred an operating loss of $321 million last year and $49 million in the first quarter of 2021.

"We take seriously our role as an essential and valued community healthcare provider that improves the health and well-being of the people and communities we are privileged to serve," Sutter Health said. 

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