SIOUX CITY — Hospice of Siouxland is laying off 28 workers due to funding changes in federal health care programs for the elderly and poor.

Hospice announced the layoffs Friday.

Hospice officials reported a nearly 30 percent decline in the number of patients they’re able to serve because of changing regulations in Medicare and Medicaid services.

Hospice director Linda Todd said the action was a last resort and that the organization is "extremely disappointed by the change."

Affected employees will receive severance packages and assistance in securing new job opportunities in the area. The layoffs, which went into effect Saturday, reduce the staff to about 120 workers.

Hospice of Siouxland has satellite offices in Le Mars and South Sioux City, Neb. — AP

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