OHSU announces hiring freeze, blames federal cuts

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Oregon Health & Science University says it will freeze hiring because of federal budget cuts, higher pension costs and lower payments expected from state and federal health care reforms.

OHSU announced the hiring freeze on Thursday and said exceptions will be made for essential health care providers and some university staff positions.

Officials say OHSU will lose more than $30 million this year from automatic federal budget cuts that begin taking effect Friday, much of it from reduced research funding.

They say a $20 million increase in public employee pension costs also is squeezing OHSU's $2 billion budget.

OHSU didn't have an immediate estimate of the impact of health reform laws.

The Portland hospital and university employs more than 14,000 people. Its website had 388 jobs posted on Thursday.