Lahey Health System on Tuesday became the latest local hospital system to slash expenses by cutting jobs.
Burlington-based Lahey said it is laying off about 75 people, or less than 1 percent of its workforce of 14,500, as part of an effort to close a budget gap. The cuts come as Lahey is pursuing a big merger with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and several other hospitals.
Lahey spokesman Chris Murphy said the layoffs, which will take effect later this fall, were driven by a need to “constantly look for opportunities to be more efficient.”
“This has nothing to do with the planned affiliation,” he said. “It’s a challenging time for health care.”
Most of the positions being eliminated are in administrative and management roles and do not involve workers in direct patient care, Murphy added. Employees losing their jobs will be invited to apply for other openings at Lahey, which runs hospitals in Burlington, Beverly, Gloucester, and Winchester and offers other services such as home care and behavioral health care.
Lahey’s chief executive, Dr. Howard Grant, told employees about the layoffs in a memo Tuesday.
“It is the best way for us to rebalance our system, positioning ourselves to grow in response to the changing needs of our community and the external health care environment,” Grant said. “This reduction will not impact our ability to care for our patients or our commitment to quality and safety.”
Lahey’s announcement follows moves by other Massachusetts hospitals to cut jobs. Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston offered buyouts to about 1,200 senior employees, while Southcoast Health System of New Bedford offered buyouts to 372 employees.
Lahey lost $37.3 million on operations in the six-month period ending March 31. More recent figures were not immediately available, but Murphy said the system was expected to record an operating loss for the fiscal year that ended last Saturday.
In 2015, Lahey laid off more than 100 people and cut the pay of top executives.
Earlier this year, after years of off-and-on talks, Lahey and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center said they would merge. New England Baptist Hospital in Boston, Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, and Anna Jaques Hospital in Newburyport later joined the deal. The merger is subject to regulatory approvals.Priyanka Dayal McCluskey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @priyanka_dayal.