Is a local hospital of yours in the list?
Many U.S. hospitals and health systems have suspended elective procedures to save capacity, supplies and staff to treat COVID-19 patients.
As a result of suspending these nonemergent procedures, several systems have lost or expect to lose a large chunk of their annual revenue, forcing them to make cost reduction a top priority.
Below is a breakdown of the hospitals that have furloughed staff in an effort to remain financially stable amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
A tiny sliver of the list of casualties:
1. Citing severe patient volume disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Johnson City, Tenn.-based Ballad Health plans to furlough at least 1,300 workers, cut pay for some senior leaders and suspend retirement contributions. Ballad is projecting a cash flow drop of $150 million in the next 90 days due to the suspension of elective procedures.
2. Lewiston-based Central Maine Healthcare will furlough 330 employees to help offset the revenue loss caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Bangor Daily News. The furloughs affect about 10 percent of its workforce.
“Furloughs like this are one way that we can adjust and manage the balance sheet appropriately. It also allows us to do that without having to sacrifice jobs permanently, without having to end the provision of care,” Kate Carlisle, director of public relations and community affairs for Central Maine Healthcare, told the publication.
3. Oswego (N.Y.) Health will furlough 25 percent of its workforce next week, according to Syracuse.com. Health system officials said that it has been losing about $180,000 per day since the beginning of March due to the coronavirus pandemic. Oswego Health said the furloughs should last about 10 to 12 weeks.
4. Citing a revenue and patient volume dip caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Hopkinsville, Ky.-based Jenny Stuart Health has furloughed 248 staff members, according to Kentucky New Era. The health system has about 1,000 employees.
Vox: Hospital are laying off workers in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic
The American health care workforce is being squeezed from two sides: by the coronavirus itself and a shortage of protective gear but also by the economic crisis, which is driving physician practices and now some hospitals to furlough or lay off staff at the very moment they are most needed.
My colleagues and I sounded the alarm about the first problem in this piece a couple of weeks ago. But the second is only beginning to fully reveal itself.