Crozer Hospital says its restructuring with over 200 lay-offs

Crozer Hospital in Delaware County will lay off more than 200 employees amid what hospital leaders call "growing financial pressures on hospitals and health systems." 

Crozer, located in Drexel Hill, closed its emergency room last year and claims It's still losing millions of dollars each month. 

As other hospitals and healthcare systems wade through treacherous waters to stay afloat, local leaders and concerned residents are wondering why Crozer can't also shoulder the burden. 

"They have consistently made poor financial decisions, and then these latest layoffs are really just another example of how they are unable to operate a functioning hospital system," Francis Sheehan of Foundation for Delaware County said. 

Sheehan asserts that nearby non-profit hospital chains are managing to get by with under massive oversight, but Crozer - which is under practically no oversight - is struggling. 

"It doesn't make any sense, because in the case of a not-for-profit system like Penn or CHOP or Jefferson or Main Line, do you have a community board over seeing things," Sheehan said. "You have to disclose your financial operation in engage the community in your work."

Meanwhile, Crozer is laying off roughly 4% of its workforce under newly announced restructuring plans. The hospitals parent company, Prospect Medical Holdings, had hundreds of millions of dollars in debt heaped upon it from their former owners so that massive fees and dividends could be extracted leaving Crozer and Prosepect to pay the debts.

"We are in a situation now where the secretary of health is describing Delaware County as a healthcare desert – that's crazy," Delaware County Senator Tim Kearney said. 

State regulations regarding hospitals were based on the premise that owners wanted to run them in good faith, according to Kearney. He's re-proposing a bill put up last session that would give the AG oversight over similar deals where hedge funds want to run hospitals.

"Our legislation would essentially give that control to the Attorney General's office on the state level, because it's not that we're worried about local control on these things, but we need the biggest hammer we have in our tool kit to go after these folks when they try to do things," Kearney said. 

He claims the bill has co-sponsors and is based on a law that Rhode Island has used to prevent Prospect from buying hospital systems in their state.