Livingson Medical Group lays off more than two dozen employees

FRESNO, Calif.

The 27 layoffs amount to about 25 percent of the workforce.

The clinic in Livingston serves about 13 thousand patients each year, many uninsured or covered by Medi-Cal.

Livingston Medical Group is a federally-qualified health center that serves the uninsured and underinsured.

Two of its providers were among those laid off on Monday.

The healthcare center saw 55 thousand patient visits last year - a number that has continued to rise over the last two-and-a-half years.

But dwindling state reimbursements have taken a toll, amounting to drastic layoffs Monday.

"We wound up laying off 27 people, out of 104, so we're down to 77 people still working here tomorrow," Livingston Medical Group CEO John Alexander said.

The non-profit healthcare center says it's always operated on a tight budget, but things reached a breaking point last week when administrators learned they wouldn't be receiving the $144,000 thousand reconciliation owed by the state for Medi-Cal visits over the last year.

Alexander says the administrators are doing all they can to continue serving the community, but patients will see an impact.

"What that means is phones won't be answered as quickly, it won't be as easy to get in the door. We're going to do everything in our power to stay open as long as we do. We're open til 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday but instead of having 4 providers in the evening, we'll have 1 or 2 providers," he said.

The employees who kept their jobs are feeling the pinch, with 20 percent pay cuts for both salaried and hourly workers.

Office coordinator Evett Madrigal still has her job, but the single mother still worries about how to make ends meet.

"It's going to be tough. We're going to have to limit ourselves in a lot of things. It's going to be hard. But we're going to have to manage," Madrigal said.

Madrigal says the shock of it all still hasn't set in.

She struggled to make it through her shift Monday, sad not only for her co-workers, but also patients, some who learned their providers will no longer work there.

Livingston Medical Group also operates a satellite clinic in Hilmar, which is only open a part time basis.

Administrators were initially hoping to be able to extend its hours but now that appears unlikely.

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