Forty five IT workers have been handed pink slips as part of the merger between Novi, Mich.-based Trinity Health and Newtown Square, Pa.-based Catholic Health East. CHE Trinity Health LogoThe merger in May created CHE Trinity Health, now based in Livonia, Mich. It’s one of the nation’s largest health systems with 70 hospitals in 21 states and operating revenue of more than $13.3 billion. The layoffs represent about 2.4 percent of Trinity's 1,912 IT workers. The organization also cut 35 workers not in patient care and instituted a hiring freeze. A growing number of health systems have announced layoffs recently, including 800 jobs cut at Indiana University Health and 300 at Detroit Medical Center. Hospitals face increasingly constricted cash flow with declining reimbursements from federal programs such as Medicare and emphasis on keeping people out of the hospital. Yet hospital IT workers should have little problem finding other employment. Health organizations face unforgiving federal deadlines for Meaningful Use requirements for electronic records, the coming switch to the new medical coding system ICD-10 and other federal mandates. And healthcare CIOs continue to report difficulty in hiring the IT staff they need. For example, a Black Book survey found a boon for consultants on swapping out revenue cycle management systems because hospitals lack that expertise in-house. It also found a majority of consulting firms planning to add staff in that specialty.