Economic pressures lead to CRMC cuts and reductions

By Michelle Price
Special to the UCBJ

COOKEVILLE – Current economic pressures and the desire to provide the best service for its customers have forced Cookeville Regional Medical Center (CRMC) to eliminate six upper management positions and to evaluate overall operations at the medical center.

A statement from CRMC released late Wednesday stated, “As a result of substantial financial hardships arising out of rising inflation, soaring labor costs and the discontinuation of various financial assistance (CARES Act) funding by the government, CRMC has had no other choice but to undertake a deep and thorough review of all labor and operational expenses at the hospital. CRMC’s goals were to reduce various operating expenses while focusing on maintaining the highest level of patient care services.”

“A reduction in expenses is necessary so we can align our operational costs with patient revenues,” said CRMC CEO Paul Korth. “The process has been a difficult one for all involved, but unfortunately it was impossible to avoid. 

“Ultimately, these steps will help ensure the long-term health and strength of the hospital, and we must keep our resources in line with our current volume and revenue,” Korth continued.  

Tommye Rena Wells, CRMC CFO, stated that for the past recent months, expenses have been regularly exceeding revenues, and while this happens from time to time for all hospitals, these continued losses “forced us to take a hard look at not only labor costs, but various operational items as well”.  

“Our focus was to do everything possible to reduce expenses while maintaining the highest level of quality and safety for our patient care services,” Wells continued.

As a result, six upper management positions were eliminated thus far through either attrition or elimination. In the upcoming weeks, CRMC will continue its analysis to identify other cost savings at the medical center, with the emphasis to retain as many jobs as possible and minimize the impact to patient care service lines. 

Michelle Price is the former managing editor of the Upper Cumberland Business Journal and can be reached via email. Send an email.

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