Confluence Health in Wenatchee is placing a temporary freeze on the hiring of most non-clinical positions.

The health care provider says the move is intended to cut mounting losses, including $13 million in the third quarter of this year.

Confluence blames the losses on low compensation for Medicaid and Medicare services, the rising cost of traveling employees, and the end of COVID-related relief funding.

It says it has no plans for layoffs, and is actively hiring for clinical positions, including nurses and medical assistants.

Confluence operates Central Washington Hospital as well as clinics and doctors offices in Wenatchee.

In a news release, the health care system said other facilities faced with similar challenges have been acquired by outside organizations.

It said its management team knows action has to be taken to maintain Confluence Health's independence and keep it on sustainable footing.

“We need to make thoughtful decisions to ensure that Confluence Health remains locally controlled and independent,” said the health care system's CEO Andrew Jones. “These aren’t easy decisions but are important to make sure that we get back to budget so that we can continue to provide quality care for our communities for the long haul.”

Confluence Health recently downsized its progressive care services at Central Washington Hospital, saying the move was meant to cut down reliance on more expensive traveling employees.

Progressive Care is an intermediate level of care below Intensive Care.

Statewide losses in the healthcare industry grew to $1.7 billion as of the first half of 2022, according to the Washington State Hospital Association.

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