JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Job cuts are expected at Missouri hospitals.
The results of a new study by the Missouri Hospital Association show 1,000 full-time positions have been cut in the last six months and more are expected in the future.
The Missouri Chamber of Commerce says the recent reduction in health care jobs is due to federal funding cuts and high uncompensated care costs.
It says the job cuts will continue as payments hospitals currently receive from the federal government will be reduced by nearly $4 billion over the next five years.
The study looked at 84 hospitals across Missouri.
Of those 84, just under half had laid off staff workers and more than half reported a hiring freeze.
"What we're seeing is a lot of announcements of layoffs and job freezes that are there right now," said Missouri Hospital Association president and CEO, Herb Kuhn.
The chamber says if a change is not made, Missouri hospitals could lose 5,000 employees by the end of the decade.
It says this could end up affecting more than just the health care industry.
"Health care accounts for about 20 percent of our economy in the state of Missouri. Its a huge portion of what generates good incomes and families supporting jobs in the state of Missouri," said Missouri Chamber of Commerce president and CEO, Dan Mehan.
The association pointed out that hospitals in less populated areas, like Mid Missouri, are taking the biggest hit.
"It's more heavily in this survey in the rural areas, some of the losses. But-we're seeing them in all parts of the state out there and Mid Missouri is no exception," said Herb.
The chamber says its budget projections show medicaid reform could allow enough state savings through the program management to offset any additional state cost.
Gov. Jay Nixon responded to today's news saying lawmakers need to act in this session to expand and reform medicaid to reverse the job cuts and stop the flow of Missourian's tax dollars to other states.