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Bozeman Health cuts leadership staff, citing rising costs and struggling revenue

Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital exterior.
Bozeman Health
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Bozeman Health
Bozeman Health is eliminating 53 leadership positions as the health care system feels the impact of rising costs and labor shortages.

One of Bozeman’s largest employers has announced major layoffs and a hiring freeze.

Bozeman Health said Tuesday it is eliminating 28 leadership positions and leaving open 25 related positions it had been recruiting for. The organization employs about 2,400 people.

In an email sent to employees, CEO John Hill said the decision was not performance related. He said rising health care costs, inflationary pressure and labor shortages are impacting the health care system’s revenue.

"A global pandemic, national labor shortages, political and economic uncertainty, and inflationary pressure are all impacting revenue and operations," Hill wrote. "How healthcare is delivered has fundamentally changed forever."

He said although Bozeman Health will recover from temporary economic downturns, "becoming more efficient in how we operate will remain permanent."

Hill said in his email that costs this year have surpassed revenue by 8%, resulting in a loss of $2.5 million each month in the first six months of 2022. "While we are a non-profit and large margins are never our highest priority, this amount of loss is not sustainable over time."

The health care system is also ending "non-core" programs and consolidating some services, including the 19th Street lab and pausing the Belgrade Clinic lab, and shifting operations at those locations to the Deaconess location.

While Bozeman Health is pausing hiring for leadership positions, it is continuing to recruit for what it calls “patient critical” positions.

Olivia Weitz covers Bozeman and surrounding communities in Southwest Montana for Yellowstone Public Radio. She has reported for Northwest News Network and Boise State Public Radio and previously worked at a daily print newspaper. She is a graduate of the University of Puget Sound and the Transom Story Workshop.