Mercy Medical Center has laid off 29 employees as part of a cost-cutting measure to cut $15 million in payroll costs, The Des Moines Register reported.

Low payments from public and private health insurance programs created financial strains that made the cuts necessary, Mercy President Bob Ritz said in a memo to employees.

Ritz, who has been Mercy's president since July 2013, said that additional cost-cutting moves have included keeping some vacant positions, allowing voluntary reduction of hours and eliminating certain management functions. Mercy is seeking to trim $38 million from its budget this year, the Register reported.

Several Iowa hospitals have laid off staff in the past year, among them Keokuk Area Hospital and Grinnell Regional Medical Center.