Buyouts save Blue Hill Hospital $400,000 yearly, avoid layoffs

Posted Oct. 17, 2012, at 12:53 p.m.

BLUE HILL, Maine — A buyout program announced at Blue Hill Memorial Hospital just more than a month ago is complete, hospital administrators said, and the annual savings of more than $400,000 will avoid the need for layoffs.

The “voluntary separation incentive plan,” as the hospital called it, offered every employee a chance to leave on good terms in exchange for payment linked to experience.

Two managers and four other employees applied for and received buyouts, said BHMH President and CEO Greg Roraff in an interview Tuesday. He wouldn’t say exactly how the buyout payment structure worked, but said both sides were happy with the result.

“If ever there is a win/win situation, this is one,” he said. “The employees all either had other plans or decided to retire and take this incentive. It certainly helped them in their transition. .. I think it was a great success.”

Roraff said the employees will not be replaced. The hospital employs more than 300 people, with annual salaries and benefits exceeding $20 million, Roraff has stated .

The buyout plan began as hospital administrators made dire predictions about the need to save money. The incentive to quit was offered up as a stopgap to avoid layoffs.

in describing the need for the buyout program, BHMH said in the earlier announcement that the hospital “must be ready to embrace the changes on our doorsteps or face the consequences of failing to keep pace — which could mean an end to health care delivery as we know it on the peninsula.”

Raroff said the goals the hospital hoped to meet with the buyouts were met, which means BHMH won’t have to turn to layoffs in the immediate future.

“That $400,000 out of our budget each year going forward? That’s a good thing,” he said.

Follow Mario Moretto on Twitter at @riocarmine.

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