Mercy to Cut 200-300 Jobs Across 7 States

Mercy is cutting 200-300 jobs at health care centers across seven states.

The health care system has facilities in western and northwest Arkansas, including Fort Smith.

Jessica Eldred, a Mercy spokeswoman, provided Arkansas Business this statement, saying most of the employees affected by the move are in St. Louis:

"Like all health care providers, Mercy is managing the impact of market changes, such as reimbursement reductions from government and commercial payers. We have been expecting and preparing for these changes for several years and have made tremendous progress in redesigning the health delivery system to meet evolving needs.

"As part of our transformation, our main ministry office in St. Louis is restructuring non-patient care support services to streamline how we work and achieve greater efficiencies. Only a handful of our co-workers here will be effected by this restructuring and no direct patient care areas are being affected. Most of the positions are in St. Louis where the majority of Mercy's support staff is located."

Mercy is the sixth largest Catholic health care system in the country. It has 33 acute-care hospitals, four heart hospitals, two children's hospitals, two rehab hospitals, one orthopedic hospital and nearly 700 clinic and outpatient facilities.

Its operations are in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. But it also has outreach ministries in Lousiana, Mississippi and Texas. Mercy recently finalized the sale of its hospital in Hot Springs to St. Vincent Health System.