Business & Tech

Brigham and Women’s buyouts will cost as much as $90m

Brigham and Women's Hospital officials previously said that they were offering voluntary retirement to 1,600 employees.
Jonathan Wiggs/Globe staff
Brigham and Women's Hospital officials previously said that they were offering voluntary retirement to 1,600 employees.

Partners HealthCare expects to spend up to $90 million on severance packages for employees at one of its biggest hospitals, Boston’s Brigham and Women’s.

Partners, the state’s largest health care system, said Friday that it has already booked $19 million of those costs. The company doesn’t expect to start reaping savings from the job cuts until the next fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1.

Brigham officials previously said that they were planning to offer voluntary retirement to 1,600 employees. On Friday, hospital officials said they actually offered buyouts to1,200 employees, and that about 800 — or two-thirds — have accepted.

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Hospital officials earlier this month said that they are considering offering buyouts to even more workers, in an effort to minimize layoffs.

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“Any further reduction in force will be limited and targeted to areas that have been identified through a workflow redesign process,” said Dinah Vaprin, a Brigham spokeswoman.

Employees taking voluntarily buyouts will begin leaving their jobs Sept. 30.

Given the response to the buyout offer, Peter Markell, chief financial officer of Partners, said he doesn’t anticipate widespread layoffs at the hospital.

“The acceptance rate was strong enough that I think if there are any additional [layoffs], they would be very targeted,” Markell said.

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Partners is the parent company of 10 Massachusetts hospitals, including Brigham and Women’s and Massachusetts General. In the nine-month period that ended June 30, the nonprofit health system said it collected $10 billion in revenue, and earned $57 million from its various operations.

The numbers included Wentworth-Douglass Health System in Dover, N.H., which Partners acquired this year. Operations also improved at Partners’ insurance business, Neighborhood Health Plan, which has struggled in the past.

Neighborhood largely serves low-income individuals and families covered by Medicaid, and it has suffered heavy financial losses. Last fall, the insurer reached an agreement with state officials to stop enrolling new Medicaid patients as a way to help stabilize its finances. About 68 percent of Neighborhood’s roughly 385,000 members receive health insurance coverage through Medicaid.

Priyanka Dayal McCluskey
can be reached at priyanka.mccluskey@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @priyanka_dayal.