UAMS Turns Corner, Slashes Annual Loss

by Mark Friedman  on Monday, Oct. 4, 2010 12:00 am  

Even though no layoffs occurred, some employees were transferred to other open positions within the hospital, Pierson said. Still, the labor cost savings is projected at $21 million, Goodhand said.

Another change that's in the works is how nurses are scheduled, Pierson said. For years, during a dire nursing shortage, UAMS allowed some of its nurses to work two 12-hour weekend shifts for the same pay as a 40-hour weekday shift, Pierson said. Starting Jan. 1, that practice ends. Nurses will have a blended schedule, working weekdays and some weekends.

That change is expected to save the hospital about $3 million, Pierson said.

Rahn said the blended schedule was "most common in this local market and nationally at academic health centers."


Other Improvements

Rahn said he would like for UAMS to have enough money to give the raises that have been frozen since 2009.

Rahn also said he would like to have extra money so UAMS could invest in technology and programs for its academic research. Even though UAMS has received funding for research, the grants don't always cover the costs, he said.

"So just to keep the whole ship afloat, we really need to generate an operating margin from the hospital," Rahn said.

He said the hospital's financial report card is better than it was a year ago, though.

"I'm very bullish on the future of this organization. It's important to the people of this state. It's important to the economy of the state, and there's a lot of great things going on," Rahn said. "It was a little bit of an unnerving time ... for a while, but we went through some of the financial stresses. But we're getting out of it."





Please read our comments policy before commenting.