NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP)
- Vanderbilt University Medical Center has cut an unspecified number of jobs across departments at the academic medical center.
Vanderbilt spokesman John Howser said the cuts were not considered layoffs. Howser said Vanderbilt, one of the city's largest private employers
, was taking steps to address workplace performance.
The cuts came as Vanderbilt began its new fiscal year July 1 under pressure from federal spending cuts and much uncertainty around the Affordable Care Act, including whether Tennessee will eventually approve Medicaid expansion.
Two months ago, Vanderbilt cited "unprecedented financial challenges" posed by the federal budget sequestration when it announced measures to help make up for a $20 million shortfall by its recent fiscal year end on June 30.
In April. Vice Chancellor Dr. Jeff Balser said the federal cuts meant payments were no longer being made to hospitals like Vanderbilt which treat a disproportionate number of indigent patients.
To avoid laying off staff, Vanderbilt froze the accrual of additional vacation days from April through June
. That alone was expected to save almost $12 million. For employees who received a portion of their pay based on performance, those payments were also suspended.
Balser calls the cuts essential and also said Vanderbilt could not implement a pay raise on July 1 as it saves money in the new fiscal year.