CLEVELAND – MetroHealth announced Thursday it’s cutting 104 jobs in order to meet its 2012 budget goals.

Those staff reductions are on top of eliminating 151 vacant positions.

According to a news release from MetroHealth, next year’s budget goals called for a reduction of 450 positions across the system, which already included 91 positions that are being cut as a part of the closure of a long-term care nursing facility.

MetroHealth said an additional 83 jobs will be eliminated over the next six month through “attrition, efficiency improvements and consolidation of operations.”

“We understand how difficult this is for the employees who are affected,” MetroHealth President and CEO Mark Moran said. “We are doing everything we can to make their transition manageable.”

According to the release, MetroHealth said it will provide outplacement services and workshops to help exiting employees find new positions.

The hospital system said the cuts came as a response to mid-year projections that showed MetroHealth could suffer operating losses of $6.3 million in 2011 and $21.1 million in 2012. So far in 2011, it said it’s operating below budget.

MetroHealth blamed increases in non-reimbursed care, a decrease in the county subsidy and reductions in reimbursement from government programs and insurers for the shortfall.

MetroHealth did not say when the layoffs will take effect.

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