COLUMBIA, Mo. — Boone Hospital Center in Columbia says it is closing its inpatient pediatrics unit and laying off 50 of its 1,700 employees.

The Columbia Daily Tribune reports a statement from the hospital says most of the employees losing their jobs are in managerial and support roles.

Boone Hospital CEO Jim Sinek says no other layoffs are planned. The hospital blamed the job reductions on a drop in patients and more patients avoiding hospitalization because they have high deductibles for insurance.

Sinek says the hospital also has more patients with Medicare and Medicaid, which pays less than employer-sponsored insurance.

Boone Hospital says it has also seen insurance companies sending patients to use non-hospital facilities for imaging services because they offer those services at a lower price.

Information from: Columbia Daily Tribune,