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Planned UNM clinical positions abandoned

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A projected $43 million decline in revenue this year will require the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center to nix plans to add 340 new clinical positions, UNM officials announced Wednesday.

The state’s largest health care system also plans to cut about 180 jobs by attrition across UNM’s School of Medicine and the colleges of nursing, pharmacy and population health, UNM HSC said in a written statement.

No layoffs are planned, it said.

Dr. Paul Roth, chancellor of UNM HSC, told lawmakers this week that the planned job cuts will affect posts for 33 physicians, 174 nurses, 167 other hospital staff and additional academic and clinical positions.

The job cuts also will curtail UNM’s plan to expand its College of Nursing, Roth told members of the state’s Legislative Finance Committee.

UNM made the decision to eliminate the posts in response to a new budget projection that anticipates $43 million in reduced revenue in fiscal year 2017, which ends June 30, Roth said.

The revised budget anticipates about $1.94 billion in hospital and clinic revenue this year, down 2.2 percent from the original 2017 budget of nearly $1.99 billion.

The biggest component in the decline is an anticipated $40 million cut in Medicaid payments this year, according to UNM projections.

In addition, the Legislature this year approved a 5 percent across-the-board cut to state university budgets, resulting in a $4.7 million cut to UNM HSC.

Billy Sparks, a spokesman for UNM HSC, said the system had planned to add 340 new jobs in response to an expected 4 percent increase in patients this year at UNM Hospital and clinics.

The planned job cuts, in excess of 500, represents about 8 percent of the 6,000 hospital and clinic employees.

“Because we have instituted these cost efficiency measures, we are able to cope with these (revenue) reductions,” Sparks said.

“Should we see additional cuts, it could negatively impact patient care and access to care,” he said.

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