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Southwest Missouri News--Joplin

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by Carol Harris, Branson area, and Marti Attoun, Joplin area

About 100 jobs, mainly full-time middle-management positions, were cut last week at St. John's Regional Medical Center in Joplin.

Gary Rowe, hospital president, said the reduction will reduce costs and increase effectiveness and patient care.

"When I was hired on Nov. 1, my task was to look at the hospital's management structure and the entire organization to evaluate how we can streamline our management team, speed up the decision-making process and put together the most effective hospital-management team possible."

The cuts reflect hospitals' response nationwide to decreasing Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement. Rowe said the reimbursements have been decreasing for six years and, by and large, are below cost.

The medical center, after the job cuts, employs about 2,300 people.

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