Sunrise Children's Hospital lays off 100

August 19, 2009

A Las Vegas children's hospital resorts to staff cuts to make ends meet.

Las Vegas’s Sunrise Children’s Hospital, and its Medical Center, announced Tuesday, Aug. 18, that it would be laying off 100 workers due to complications of the economy.

Twelve of those hundred are registered nurses: most of the rest are support staff and management. Sunrise is owned by the hospital conglomerate HCA, and HCA will try to help placing as many of the workers as possible in other hospitals, mostly in California, looking for personnel.

Sunrise apparently gave $100 million in uncompensated care to Las Vegas’s uninsured population: none of it was paid for by the state. Add to that the high number of Nevadans who are on Medicare or Medicaid, which pay stingily compared to private insurance companies. (Sixty percent of patients at Sunrise Children’s don’t have private health insurance.) The end result is a population not rich enough to afford its hospital at its current staffing levels.

A spokesman for Sunrise said that the hospital was committed to keeping its standard of care as high as before: it tried to find as many cost-cutting measures as it could, but was forced to lay off staff to make ends meet.