Washington Regional Talk: Layoffs, No; Expansion Through Acquisition, Maybe

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Monday, Oct. 29, 2012 12:00 am  

Rumors of layoffs at Washington Regional Medical Center made their way to our ears recently, only to be followed - interestingly enough - a few days later by rumors of an acquisition.

We gave a call to President and CEO Bill Bradley, and he graciously addressed both topics.

"There is absolutely nothing to that," Bradley said of the rumored layoffs.

The scuttlebutt likely had its origin in the fact that Washington Regional has offered early separation packages to a limited group of employees.

"It's basically an early retirement bridge," Bradley said, adding that about 30 employees have expressed interest in accepting the package.

With Washington Regional facing declining reimbursements, Bradley said the offers were extended "hopefully to save a little money."

He also said things will be handled on a case-by-case basis, but he expects most of those who take the package to be replaced.

Regarding talk that Washington Regional is interested in acquiring Physicians' Specialty Hospital in Fayetteville, meanwhile, Bradley declined to comment other than to explain confidentiality agreements would preclude him from talking about those types of discussions anyway.

Bradley did, however, offer the following zinger:

"It's safe to say, with the state of health care, everybody's probably looking at everybody," he said with a laugh.



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