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NorthShore University HealthSystem reportedly will layoff one percent of its workforce in what’s described as a cost-cutting move to address uncertainty created by the new health care law.

Chicago Business reports the layoffs of about 130 people follow a disappointing third quarter performance for the hospital network — one of the biggest in the Chicago area — which saw income from operations plunge by two-thirds, to $10.8 million.

Evanston-based NorthShore has hospitals here and in Glenview, Highland Park and Skokie, and revenue of $1.8 billion last year.

“We are at a critical juncture and must take additional actions to address redundancies and realign staff” NorthShore Chief Human REsources Officer Bill Luehrs wrote in a memo obtained by the newspaper.

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Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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24 Comments

  1. Stop building and quit advertising!

    Actually, this company really wants to be in the hotel business. Over the past decade, NorthShore University HealthSystem kept building and renovating and buying property and running TV ads instead of staffing its hospitals with plenty of nurses. A hospital does not need to buy TV ads! A hospital does not need a decorative lobby waterfall that is several stories high! But most hospitals do need more nurses! This ought to be stating the obvious: The first hospital of choice is often, out of necessity, the closest.

  2. Obamacare is a Frankenstein nightmare

    Northshore is one of numerous businesses that are either laying off employees or reducing the number of hours for employers due to Obamacare.  UPS, Forever 21, many universities, etc.

    Already, the Obama Administration announced the delay of the employer mandate,  delay of the caps on out-of-pocket insurance costs and delay of the enforcement of a number of key eligibility requirements for the law’s health insurance subsidies, relying on the “honor system” instead. Don't forget that Congress exempted themselves from Obamacare. The Obama Administration has missed a third of all deadlines outlined by the law.

    Because in part of these delays the insurance rates for consumers have skyrocketed. Some major insurers have chosen not to participate in Obamacare.

    Obamacare is a "train wreck," according to Obamacare architect, Max Baucus, a long term Democrat politician who is not seeking re-election (not a bad idea, eh Jan Schakowsky?).   It will only get worse as other companies are planning layoffs because of Obamacare.

    Remember folks, the Democrats and only the Democrats rammed thru Obamacare without reading or debating the bill during the height of the Great Recession.

    This is why I will never ever vote for a Democrat.

    Go to http://www.dontfundobamacare.com and sign the petition before it's too late. 

    1. No going back

      The ACA is the law. Five years from now it will be loved by many. No more denial of coverage for a pre existing condition, no more caps on lifetime limits, so families won't lose overage because more than one member has a serious condition. People have to take personal responsibility for their health care coverage 

      ( hhmmm…personal responsibility….who talks about that?). The Employer Mandate was an original idea from the Heritage Foundation, that socialist leaning think tank. For the first time in a decade, the rate of health care insurance increases has slowed has slowed and in two states, California and New York, been slashed by more than 30%.

      The original ACA was the best we could do dealing with obstructionists that offered no ideas of their own. If "Repeal and Replace" is the Republican idea, replace it with what? Romney care?

      Employers should thank Obamacare for a convenient excuse to do what they want to do anyway. Read beyond the headlines. (Faux news will hate you for it, but do it anyway.) In the UPS circumstance, UPS is dropping coverage for spouses who can be covered under their employers' plans. The majority of employers refused to cover, or charged extra, for spouses with their own coverage years ago. UPS just caught up. But those details don't make for good headlines.

      Hospitals and health care providers must adjust to consumer demands. We will shop for coverage. We will ask about prices. Why should I pay three times more for a simple, routine test because of a nice building and comfortbale couches? Why should you? NorthShore is just catching up with the new consumer reality; health care providers have to compete for our business.

      We had an election last year. Forward won. Backward lost. Obamacare is the law of the land, making the U.S. the last among developed world to provide minimum health care coverage.

      1. You’re in Lala land

        Responding to your post in full is a waste of time. You have more falsehoods and half truths than any one person should be allowed to have. If you want to follow people like Jan Schakowsky who vote on legislation without knowing what is says and more than likely has still not read it that is up to you. You should try to wean yourself from irresponsible like Jan and Barack.

        Good luck trying to get yourself on the right track.

        1. Instead of making vague accusactions, post facts

          If you're one smart guy, this should be easy.  What are the falsehoods/half truths?

          Where's the beef?

          I'm surprised at the direction the comments have taken here.  The issue is Northshore's decline in income/revenue/profitability (for a non-profit).  Northshore claims the ACA for this decline.  But why should we take their excuse as the TRUTH?

          I can tell you I use Northshore, even registered on their "Northshoreconnect" site, which is an ironic name because their billing is not centralized and is quite often disorganized — i.e., NorthshoreDisconnect.  I can't tell you how many times I've paid a Northshore bill with my flexible spending account only to have the FSA question the charge, and then I have to ask Northshore for an itemized bill which they cannot produce.

          Other hospital systems around the country seem to be doing quite well – Check out Cardinal Health.  What's Northshore's excuse?

        2. Your Idea?

          If the ACA is "la-la land" and we should not follow our elected leaders,  I am interested in your ideas.

          Replace ACA with WHAT? It's easy to say "no" and sign a petition for repeal, but if you want to be associated with a party that contends for leadership, propose something. If you want to lead, lead. Until there is a better idea, ACA is the law.

          If your are truly ONESMARTGUY, you should run against Congresswoman Schakowsky. She runs every two years, so you don't even have to wait long. If you've got better ideas, convince us. "No" is not a platform.

          1. Schakowsky?

            We have had many people who have run against schakowsky and lost. They were all more qualified and more intelligent than her but who can beat her in the Socialist Republic of Evanston? Maybe someone who is to the left of her but I don't know anybody in this district that falls into that category, do you?. Has she ever had a town hall without preloading the seats with hundreds of ASFCME union people. Isn't that the same way they do it socialist countries. She wasn't the first cheater in this district. Sidney Yates probably taught her a lot before he went brain dead. I believe that he serve another 3 terms after that. I will not say that Republicans are good people. Heaven help us, we had Jim Thompson, George Ryan, and Chuck Percy to name a few bad guys but as long we have Mike Madigan, Lisa Madigan, Pat Quinn, and the Democrat Party running the state, nothing in this state will get better.           Find me that socialist to the left of Jan and I will push my pride aside and and support them. Don't say Anthony Weiner because he doesn't live in the district and he is only just as bad as her.

  3. Comment

    A hospital is a business, and marketing is part of it.  

    Frankly, a hospital is not a nice place to be, so excuse the attempts to make the premises a little more comforting, be it a waterfall or whatever.

    Try and blame the hospital all you want when you know full well this is just another negative unintended  consequence this horrible piece of legislation has created.

    Do you still have your "I love Obamacare" bumper sticker?  Lemming.

    1. Bring back “Good Neighbors” through shared respect

      Through reasoned debate, we Evanstonians are able to have educational conversations. The use of boorish disparaging remarks directed at our neighbors is damaging to the polite and effective discourse respectful neighbors should strive for.

      Understanding that it can be difficult to be civil and adhere to good manners when you strongly disagree with another on a topic, I nonetheless remain convinced if you give it some thought, you will surely be able to find a better way of framing your thoughts in an educated and productive style without the use of sarcasm or the Lemming tag.

  4. We’ll see

    We'll see how you feel about Obamacare when someone close to you isn't rejected for healthcare due to a previous condition. Or when a loved one has a kid born with some illness and can't get covered. Or your wives, daughters, girlfriends, sisters, any woman close to you won't be rejected for health care just because she is a woman.

    Bunch of Republican idiots. Its not the '50s anymore.

    1. But what is next?

      Many would support Obamacare—at least basic ideas.

      But they can see where it is going.

      Harry Reid recently said it is just a start and that he sees a single payer system [government] as the goal.

      Obama forced through coverage of birth control—later revised to make insurance companies cover—even for for religious organizations who oppose it on moral grounds.  This from a case brought by a lawyer who makes  $168,000 per year.  If that is a medical 'need' what about health clubs, brocolli [Obama said his favorite food but no one has seen him eat but have seen him wolf down foods Michelle opposes], vitamins, etc..  All would improve health–should government pay for them too ?

      Forcing insurance companies to abandon actuarial based standards.  This will push them out of business—you can't make up losses on volume !  Harry Reid clearly sees this pushing them out of business so the governnment can take over the insurance business and payments—Obama clearly sees that but won't be upfront about it.

      Look as Medicare and Medicade payment fraud and unwillingness [they take people and hospitals word for treatment and cost] and inability to run them as a prudent business.  Also look at the projected financial states they will soon be in.  Recall the projections of how much they would cost when the programs started and what they 'actually' cost.  Would you want the post-office [despite officially independent, who really believes that so—look at Congress blocking of savings they propose], IRS, NSA, etc. to administer your health plans—talk about government information gathering !

      1. Are you really pleading

        Are you really pleading on behalf of the insurance companies, who make millions/billions in profits every year? 

        Fox News really does have you brainwashed….

        1. Open your mind

          Private insurance companies make a profit because they provide a service. It's much more difficult to scam private health insurance companies than it is to defraud Medicare, Medicaid and soon Obamacare. And if you have a problem with a bill from Medicare or Medicaid good luck suing the government. Wait until the IRS garnishes your pay or sends you a bill because they think you don't have insurance. Try dealing with the IRS. Oh, happy days are here again. 

          The government should not be in the business of health insurance, delivering mail or even education. It should regulate not operate. School vouchers is and can be a much more efficient and effective system of education. Parents, especially of low income, are more involved because with a stipend they could CHOOSE which school to send little Johnny. Have you ever dealt with the bureacracy of the public school system? 

          Competition as we all know brings out efficient, innovative and resourceful operations. People are not resourceful or risk takers if there is no reward. What's the reward? Profit.

          This month, major health insurance companies Blue Cross, Aetna, United and Humana have fled the Obamacare health care exchanges in various states, which are scheduled to start on Oct. 1. Oh, this just in. The Obama Administration has delayed the opening date of health care exchanges. 

          I bet you have a bumper sticker on your car warning people not to watch Fox News. Have you ever seen a similar bumper sticker against MSNBC or CNN? No? Maybe conservatives and libertarians and not liberals have open minds afterall.

  5. Saw this coming!

    As a former North Shore employee I saw this coming. This hospital has done nothing but made terrible business moves. Buying 50" TVs, giving their good-for-nothing managers huge raises. They deserve what's coming to them.

  6. Make it illegal to insure

    Health insurance is just that, insurance.  Imagine if you will that the insurance companies had sole descretion as to which people could get Life insurance, Home insurance, Professional Liability insurance , Flood insurance, Automobile insurance  or any of the other multiple type of  policies out there, with no Federal or State mandates in place.  Would you trust the insurance companies to look out for your benefit or theirs?  Would you like it if you could be denied auto insurance just because your child turned 16 and now has a drivers license,  even though you never filed a claim in over 30 years?  Or what if a tree damages your house and your filing of a claim allows all insurance companies to refuse you a Home policy forever going forward?

    If you really want to outlaw mandatory Health insurance, then mandatorly outlaw all insurance and let each of us be financially responsible for any bad event that could happen to us.  Do I really want to pay for your misfortune?  Do you really want to pay for mine?  

    Lets make a deal.  If you help me out in time of need, then I'll help you out in time of need.  And let's just pray rhat neither of us has to ask the other for help!  OK?   

  7. Stop building and quit advertising! Redux.

    To clarify: Expansion, renovation and beautification doesn't concern me so long as the service is, first and foremost, exemplary. As a former caregiver, I have witnessed several elderly patients (people who were utterly incapable of advocating for themselves) suffer greatly from nursing and other staffing shortages — and all at hospitals run by NorthShore University HealthSystem.

    1. Suffering patients

      Howard did you do anything about the patients you saw suffering?  Did you file a complaint? Discuss with supervisory Staff?

      1. You bet I did.

        Absolutely, I did. Needless to say, if these hospitals were sufficiently staffed, my intervention would never have been necessary. Too often, at least in my experience, the nursing staff is, seemingly, stretched too thin to check in on the patients who are incapable of calling for help.

  8. NSU

    I am currently a nurse for this system. I can tell you I am proud of the care people get here. We have a great medical record/charting system. We are ranked highly in many areas, cancer center, nuerology, cardiology, etc. I trust my family here and would send anyone here who asks how the care is.

    What I know is that with the Obama care, many things aren't covered.  You will not be qualified to have certain tests done because it's not covered under this care. What you need is not determined by your doctor, its Obama care which covers less than insurance you have had. An example is, if you are readmitted into the hospital less than 30 days after being discharged for certain conditions (like CHF), Obamacare reimburses only 50%. Now lets say you are short of breath again, can't breath, and you go to the ER and it's within the 30 days, they are reimbursed $0 dollars (On the 3rd admit in 30 days.).   How will this effect you? On your 3rd trip to the ER, what do you think any hospital will do? My guess is an extended ER visit, give you diuretics and breathing treatments, maybe steroids, get you feeling better and send you on your way. This directly effects you.   So, we have less admits,less insurance reimbursment, less quality care (less needed tests ordered, less staff to care for you), less income, lay offs.

    I don't think the government can manage this very well financially. If so, then they should first manage medicare and medicaid well. It's difficult to believe they can manage everyones care when they haven't done well with other plans.

    This may sound simple, but I have always thought it could solve all the issues if they made 2 laws. 1) No pre existing conditions allowed to be used against you. 2) It is the law you must have health insurance.(and I might add in that employers must offer insurance). Let the insurance companies handle what they have been handling and add those laws. The healthy people will even out the sick. One day the healthy will be the sick, and so on.

    I am home today because of cut backs, but I'm hopeful.

  9. Yes, Northshore is not much

    Yes, Northshore is not much more than a fat corporation that exists for it's administration, these days. Unfortunately patient care must suffer due to it's poor decision-making, not due to Obamacare. The first RN poster should better than all, understand – that is unless she now walks the halls with clipboard in hand as one who is more concerned with LOS not patient care…

    Always follow the money…

  10. On one hand hey laid off 130

    On one hand hey laid off 130 employees, a few of which I know but then I go for an appointment and I see that the construction is still going on at Skokie. I don't care if they say it's from a different fund, then use those funds for salaries instead of a new lobby or waterfall. They are also too top heavy. Lay off a Vice Preident from each department at each hospital and I'm sure that will save some money.

  11. NSUH

    Do you know that Mark N is one of the top 5 highest paid CEO in healthcare?  GIve me a break!  NSUH is buying all small practices that they have successfully murdered them along the way for the last 2-3 years.  Now they are limiting their valuable employees to see ONLY NSUH staff physicians.  I think FCC or other state and federal agencies should carefully look into their scare tactics to their remaining employees/physicians, and monopolize the healthcare system in the Northshore areas.  How could they force their employees to change their long-time PCPs of 15+s, 20+s, 25+ to someone whom they barely know.  Is this NSUH way to make up their loss revenue?

    The employees/physicians should get together and fight this nasty, ugly NSUH!

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