In response to the new federal health care law, Meriter Hospital reported Tuesday it would be releasing 50 employees in an effort to rethink health care services. 

According to a Meriter statement, all health systems are facing significant cuts in federal Medicare and Medicaid. 

“The new federal health care law, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, requires all health systems to think differently about the way health care is provided,” the statement said. 

The statement added Meriter is working to match employees from the eliminated positions to available positions, and they also will help those left without a place by continuing their pay and benefits for the rest of the year. 

Mary Reinke, spokesperson for Meriter Health Services, spoke of two different changes created by PPACA that has required the decision. 

“We are faced with, like all hospitals in Wisconsin, the cuts on reimbursements for Medicare,” Reinke said. “We are facing $3.6 billion in reimbursement cuts, which provide care to those who need it most.”  

Reinke also said the other change is that health care reform is requiring providers to be focused on outcomes, adding the hospital is “expected to be doing more with less.” 

Additionally, Reinke said Meriter’s actions to embrace PPACA have not only been these cuts. 

Reinke said not just Meriter, but all national health systems, are likely preparing to work more with the community to provide preventative care and wellness. 

“We are focusing much more on preventative care, and that’s why Meriter has been investing over the years to provide preventative care at clinics close to people’s homes and work places, not just hospital care,” Reinke said. 

According to Reinke, this preventive care focuses on many issues, ranging from health and wellness, managing diabetes and finding ways to prevent low birth weights. 

According to the statement, Meriter is changing its model “from treating the sick and injured to a model that promotes better health and health outcomes. Our vision is to position Meriter as a leader and embrace health care reform.”