UTMB Health expected to lay off 200 as budget falls short by $174M, officials say in letter

UTMB Health (File) (KPRC)

HOUSTON – In a letter to employees Monday, the University of Texas Medical Branch Health system interim president, Dr. Ben Raimer, told employees that despite efforts to hold off on job reductions during the coronavirus pandemic, the new budget will call for cutting about 200 jobs.

Raimer said there is a $174 million budget shortfall, due in large part to the financial crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The layoffs will mainly be support staff and officials don’t anticipate there will be a need to cut jobs in clinical operations, research and among faculty in the medical school.

“We anticipate approximately 200 positions, or 1.5% of our workforce, will ultimately be eliminated as we close the budget gap,” Raimer wrote in the letter. “Concurrently, some departmental reorganizations also will be implemented over the next several weeks.”

UTMB Health letter on layoffs (KPRC)

The hospital system tried to hold off layoffs by having employees take one day off per week, using vacation time for eight weeks. They also tried to hold off on giving upper-level staff bonuses as a cost-cutting measure. However, a lack of patient revenue and an extreme increase in COVID-19 related expenses were more than the short-term money-saving measures could cover, officials said.

UTMB Health has operations in Galveston, League City, Webster and Angleton and clinics across Southeast Texas.