The system said the restructuring is necessary due to growing financial pressure, but some local lawmakers are blasting the plan.
UPLAND, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- Hundreds of workers will be impacted by a restructuring plan announced by Crozer Health on Wednesday.
The restructuring is necessary due to growing financial pressure, the health system said in a statement.
Crozer said costs have been soaring due to the COVID-19 pandemic and inflation, with rising costs in areas such as staffing, supplies, and pharmaceuticals.
Crozer also cited a refusal by health insurance plans to renegotiate contracts and litigation that is preventing the health system from repurposing Delaware County Memorial Hospital into a behavioral health facility and urgent care center.
The restructuring will result in 215 workers being laid off.
"The restructuring focuses on removing duplication in administrative oversight and discontinuing underutilized services," Crozer said.
The health system said impacted workers will be considered for open positions. Those who are not rehired will have access to outplacement services to help with their job search, Crozer said.
Crozer went on to say it was losing $12 million per month when it suspended operations at Delaware County Memorial Hospital in September. It says that and other actions helped reduce the system's monthly losses to $7 million per month.
The plan was blasted by the Pennsylvania state senators representing Delaware County.
In a joint statement, Sens. Amanda Cappelletti, John Kane, and Tim Kearney said this was "another disingenuous attempt by Prospect Medical Holdings to avoid taking accountability for further crippling the Crozer Health system."
"Crozer is choosing to reduce access to healthcare in Delaware County and harm hundreds of its dedicated staff in the process," the statement continued.
The 215 workers impacted represent 4% of Crozer's workforce.
The Foundation of Delaware County also responded to the announcement, saying the litigation is not to blame.
"That is absolutely not true, it is just more of Prospect's nonsense," said Frances Sheehan, president of the Foundation of Delaware County. "There is nothing in the injunction that prevents them from moving forward with their stated plans to open a behavioral health facility at Delaware County Memorial Hospital."
Sheehan said the foundation has taken Prospect Medical Holdings to court, and got a temporary injunction which requires them to show they are making a best faith effort to reopen the emergency room.
She also said people who live in the area rely on this health system.
"To operate a health system that is successful for that community, that is the obligation they took on in 2016. It's an obligation that every other healthcare provider out there is meeting," she said.
A Delaware County spokesperson shared similar concerns.
"The county remains concerned that Prospect Health has not demonstrated that the health and well-being of our community is among its corporate priorities," the spokesperson said.
The foundation added that Prospect Medical Holdings is not upholding the commitment it made when it purchased Crozer years ago.
We reached out to the Crozer Chester Nurses Association about the layoffs, but the association did not know who's directly affected.
In the meantime, Delaware County says it will support those laid off through the Office of Workforce Development.