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Peconic Bay hospital to lay off 12 workers

Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead is shown

Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead is shown on July 11, 2012. Credit: Randee Daddona

Peconic Bay Medical Center is laying off 12 people in response to declining hospital admissions.

Andrew Mitchell, chief executive of the Riverhead hospital, said Friday that the layoffs include administrative staff and no nurses.

"We tried as much as we could not to impact direct patient care," he said. He said about 40 positions also remain open at the hospital, which employs about 1,200.

He said admissions were down about 8 percent in the first quarter -- a trend seen nationwide and on Long Island.

"For the period of January to February 2014, Long Island hospitals saw a decline of nearly 3,600 admissions. The East End experienced a similar decrease," the hospital said in a statement.

Janine Logan, spokeswoman for the Nassau-Suffolk Hospital Council, said "the declines in admissions are consistent with what hospitals are experiencing across the country."

She attributed the drop to a variety of reasons, including the Affordable Care Act, reductions in reimbursements and a light flu season.

The Affordable Care Act aims to shift health care from expensive inpatient hospital admissions to primary, preventive care by changes in reimbursements.

The hospital said it saw increases in some new services, including its Urgent Care Center in Manorville.

"Clearly, there is a shift from inpatient care to outpatient services in certain instances," said Demetrios Kadenas, vice president of external affairs.

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