Cambridge Health Alliance Cuts 30 to Ease Financial Strain

March 28, 2014 — Cambridge Health Alliance, which provides healthcare services to 140,000 patients in Cambridge, Somerville, and Boston’s Metro North area, announced that it is cutting 30 staffers in response to growing financial pressures, including inadequate reimbursement from payors.

“As we respond to the changing needs of our communities, leverage technology, and keep pace with industry best practices, there will be an impact on jobs,” Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA) said.

CHA, which has an annual operating budget that exceeds $100 million, now employs more than 3,500 full-time and part-time staff.

For the year ending June 30, 2012, CHA reported $107.4 million in revenue and the same amount in expenses, according to its most recently available Form 990. In fiscal 2013, which ended Sept. 30, 2013, CHA had an operating loss of about $26.4 million, the Boston Business Journal reported this week.

“While we are not planning widespread reductions, we will reduce positions (approximately 30), including leadership and management positions, in areas where we can more efficiently provide excellent care to our patients.”

CHA said that during the last past year, it has been engaged in an organization-wide initiative to build long-time sustainability, noting that inadequate reimbursement from payors for services it provides, including services to some of the most vulnerable populations, has added to the financial strains under which it operates.

“In addition to improving our financial picture through operational changes, we are focusing on increasing revenues through primary care expansion and continuing our important work in patient-centered medical homes, complex care management, and primary care/behavioral health integration,” the organization said.

CHA noted that it faces what it calls unique challenges as a safety net provider: “With so many people depending on us, we have a special responsibility for ensuring our financial sustainability in an era of payment reform, population health, and a national mandate to reduce health care costs.”