Mass General Brigham said Friday it has offered buyouts to an unspecified number of employees who work in its technology arm as the financially strained health care giant seeks to “better optimize our workforce.”
The company said in a statement that it had offered “volunteer separation” to employees in its Digital unit, which provides services ranging from information technology to maintenance of patients’ electronic health care records.
MGB Digital employees learned of the buyouts during a staff meeting last week, according to the Boston Herald, which first reported the news on Thursday. The application period for buyouts began on Nov. 1 and will end on Nov. 15. Mass General Brigham plans to announce on Nov. 22 how many people took buyouts.
Michael D. Morrison, a spokesman for Mass General Brigham, said about 2,000 people work in the Digital unit. Mass General Brigham is the parent company of more than a dozen hospitals, including founding members Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. All told, the health care giant has 82,000 employees and is the state’s largest private employer.
As a result of changes in health care delivery, “we have undertaken a comprehensive review of our Digital team, which represents the technology arm of Mass General Brigham, to better align our workforce resources and skills with our organizational needs and those of the communities we serve,” the company said.
Mass General Brigham said that “decisions like these are never easy and we strive to treat our employees with the dignity and respect they deserve” while ensuring the company can continue to carry out its mission “well into the future.”
Like many hospitals in the state, Mass General Brigham, the state’s largest health care system, has struggled financially in recent years. In December, the company reported an operating loss of $432 million for the 2022 fiscal year, the largest in its 28-year history. That figure beat the previous record loss of $350 million in the first year of the pandemic.
Experts say the losses have stemmed at least partly from problems with backlogs for discharging patients to other institutions and an acute labor shortage that’s forced Mass General Brigham and other hospitals to pay millions of dollars for temporary help.
The financial outlook, however, has recently brightened. In Mass General Brigham’s latest financial report for the quarter that ended on June 30 this year, the company reported a profit of $437 million.
“Health care organizations across the country, including Mass General Brigham, are making modest progress toward financial recovery, but we still have much more work to do,” Niyum Gandhi, the company’s chief financial officer and treasurer, said in August. Gandhi added that the firm must continue to “moderate our expense growth.”
Jonathan Saltzman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.