Verde Valley Medical Center announces management restructure

Verde Valley Medical Center has announced a management restructure and three reductions in force in an effort to deal with significant industry pressures coming to bear on VVMC and hospitals across the country.

VVMC Interim President and CEO Barbara S. Dember, M.H.A., F.A.C.H.E., said that over the past two years, VVMC has experienced decreased volumes, a decline in reimbursement and has had its payor mix shift to 80 percent Medicare and AHCCCS - all while inflation has continued to rise and more unfunded government mandates have been enacted.

"As we worked on the budget for our next fiscal year, it became apparent that changes were going to be necessary in order for VVMC to uphold its commitments to our patients and community," Dember said.

"Our commitments are three-fold: to provide excellent quality of care by focusing our investments at the bedside and ensuring access to primary and specialty care in the Verde Valley; to care for the health of our communities through education, outreach and population health management; and to achieve an appropriate operating margin to ensure we can continue providing the services the community needs."

"These have been very difficult decisions for us. As we struggled with the budget and analyzed future projections for healthcare, it was clear that we needed to explore all options for reducing our costs."

According to Dember, an analysis of VVMC's organizational chart showed that VVMC had more managers than hospitals the same size or even larger.

"It became obvious our salary dollars need to be better focused at the bedside rather than in management positions," Dember said. "Additionally, we identified that our Imaging Services Department was overstaffed for our current volumes."

On April 16, VVMC eliminated five director and two manager positions. Three jobs in Imaging Services - two clerical and one technologist - were also eliminated. In all, 15 VVMC employees were affected: 12 were moved into lower management or staff roles, and three had their positions eliminated.

"Changes like these are never easy for an organization," Dember said. "They test us at every level, but they were necessary to ensure VVMC continues to serve our patients and communities, preserve our mission, support our vision, and sustain the scope of services and excellent quality our communities have come to expect."


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