Several executives and administrators have been laid off at MUSC Health University Medical Center’s Midlands division following a $40 million budget shortfall in the first half of the fiscal year.
The exact number of employees laid off is not yet known, according to MUSC spokesperson Heather Woolwine on Friday. The layoffs occurred at three of MUSC’s four Midlands locations: two hospitals in Columbia and one in Camden.
According to Woolwine, the layoffs did not affect medical personnel such as doctors and nurses.
During MUSC’s February board meeting, a budget report detailing losses was released. According to Woolwine, layoffs began in the second week of March.
In addition to the layoffs, division CEO Terry Gunn resigned on February 24. Woolwine said she couldn’t go into detail about why he resigned.
Tom Crawford, formerly the system chief operating officer at MUSC Health, has been named interim CEO of the Midlands Division.
The Post and Courier was the first to report the layoffs on Friday.
In 2021, MUSC paid $75 million to LifePoint Health, a for-profit health network based in Tennessee, for four struggling hospitals in the Midlands. The properties, which include the former Providence Hospital on Forest Drive near downtown Columbia and an associated facility in northeast Columbia, the former KershawHealth hospital in Camden, and a freestanding emergency room in Fairfield County, are expected to cost MUSC nearly $150 million.
There were no layoffs at the Fairfield facility this month.
When you acquire facilities like this, they were having some pretty significant financial struggles,” Woolwine explained. “Time is required.
MUSC does not expect the LifePoint Health facilities to be profitable until around 2024.
Layoffs were part of a strategy to meet margins faster, which included efforts to reduce operational costs, improve workflow, and introduce new technology, according to Woolwine.