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Hospital chain lays off office workers

By Robert Weisman
June 9, 2011

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Steward Health Care System LLC yesterday laid off an unspecified number of business office employees at its six Caritas Christi Health Care hospitals in Eastern Massachusetts.

The jobs were eliminated in departments ranging from billing to finance to accounts receivable.

The cuts were part of a move to consolidate most of Steward’s administrative functions in Westwood and at corporate headquarters in Boston.

“The resulting efficiencies will allow us to focus more system resources on clinical programs that directly impact patient care,’’ said Steward’s spokesman, Chris Murphy.

Steward, formed last year to build a chain of for-profit community hospitals, operates eight hospitals in Massachusetts and has signed agreements to buy two more here and one in Rhode Island.

Steward is owned by the private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management.