Emory Healthcare to cut 100 jobs partly because of Obamacare

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DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. —

Channel 2 Action News has confirmed that more than 100 Emory Healthcare employees will lose their jobs, in part, because of the Affordable Care Act.

An upset viewer alerted Channel 2's Erica Byfield to the development.

A letter the viewer provided from Emory Healthcare's Chief Human Resources Officer reads, "This notice is to inform you that Emory Healthcare is restructuring and consolidating its Psychiatry Services Program."

A spokesperson from the health system confirmed the letter was mailed to 101 employees on Sept. 9.

The letter goes on to say leaders decided to close a neuropsychiatry unit at Wesley Woods Geriatric Hospital (WWGH) and consolidate two psychiatry units one of which is at WWGH and the other is within the Center for Rehabilitation Medicine for Emory University.

The furious employee asked not to be identified, but the employee did write a letter.

In part, it reads, "The saddest part is when during the announcement we were told our job loss is due to the new Affordable Care Act."

An Emory spokesman, Vincent Dollard, said the new health care law backed by the president played a role in the layoffs. Dollard added the economy was also a factor.

The letter to employees also mentions the layoffs are permanent, but there is a chance some healthcare professionals will be able to find other jobs within the Emory Healthcare system.

The layoffs are effective Nov. 15.

Emory Healthcare sent Byfield a statement saying, "To meet the needs of our changing patient population, we have developed a new care model to serve our psychiatric patients now and in the future. We will launch a new adult and geriatric psychiatry program focused on mood disorders, psychosis and other psychiatric disorders in November, 2013

"The purpose of these changes is to ensure that we provide the most appropriate care in the most appropriate setting for adult and geriatric psychiatry patients, and to provide modern facilities that are comfortable for patients, family members and staff, with efficient processes and services, while ensuring the ideal management of our resources in this economy.

"Detailed communication about these changes is ongoing with staff, physicians, patients and their families to ensure a smooth transition to the new program.

"We are optimistic that many of the affected employees will find placement, with the assistance of Emory Healthcare human resources and leadership teams, into existing vacant positions in our new program and across Emory Healthcare should they elect to apply."