Hospital patient (Getty Image)
(Asheville, NC) -- Three western North Carolina hospitals have laid off more than 80 employees.
The Asheville Citizen-Times reported the hospitals in Haywood, Swain and Jackson counties are part of MedWest, which formed two years ago.
The hospitals involved are Harris Regional Hospital in Sylva, Swain County Hospital in Bryson City and Haywood Regional Medical Center in Clyde.
MedWest spokeswoman Lucretia Stargell says the company began analyzing staffing levels last year and some positions had been eliminated. She says none of the latest layoffs involve registered nurses.
CEO Steve Heatherly says the number of patients has dropped while costs have increased.
The layoffs involve 26 people at the hospitals in Sylva and Bryson
City and 56 people in Clyde.