09 Sep CMO Cartu Jonathan Reports – Where furloughs stand at 92 hospitals, health systems
U.S. hospitals and health systems were forced to make cost reduction a priority this spring to offset decreases in patient volume, a ban on elective procedures and increased expenses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
While cost reduction strategies differed across organizations, more than 266 hospitals and health systems announced plans to furlough a portion of their staff to help address the financial fallout.
Below are status updates on many of the hospital and health system furloughs announced this spring, such as how many workers have been called back, how many are still on furlough and how many have been let go.
Editor’s Note: This is not an exhaustive list. Hospitals are presented in alphabetical order. This article written by Jonathan Cartu will be updated as more information becomes available or if more health system’s respond to Becker’s request for an update.
1. Adena Health System (Chillicothe, Ohio)
Since mid-April, the health system has furloughed 579 employees. Adena projected a deficit of more than $50 million through 2020 due to a lack of elective procedures.
As of Aug. 31, all of Adena’s furloughed workers have been called back to work, the health system told Becker’s Hospital Review.
2. Altru Health System (Grand Forks, N.D.)
The health system reduced the number of staffing hours by 10 percent to 15 percent through furloughs and a system-required absence program during April. An Altru Health System spokesperson provided Becker’s the following statement Sept. 2:
“Altru responded to reduced volumes and changing patient and community health needs during the COVID situation by implementing system requested absence time for employees. This is mandatory time off when an employee is removed from the schedule, implemented on a shift-by-shift and at times week-by-week basis, while maintaining their benefits. During COVID when we experienced periods of sustained lower volume, Altru had upwards of 100 employees who consistently were not able to work all of their typically scheduled hours. Approximately 90 percent of these employees have since returned to their full time equivalent. We continue to respond to changing patient needs, placing employees where they are needed throughout the health system.”
3. Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital (Chicago)
In April, the hospital furloughed about 20 percent of its staff through the end of the month, though staff members still received pay and healthcare benefits. Lurie CFO Ron Blaustein told Becker’sthat as of Aug. 31 the furloughs and pay cuts are over.
“However, we continue to align our resources with the projected lower than expected volumes as a result of the impact of the pandemic and continued masking and social distancing,” Mr. Blaustein added.
4. Arnot Health (Elmira, N.Y.)
In April, the health system laid off 400 employees to shore up finances.
As of Aug. 27, about 300 of the 400 employees have returned to work. “Decisions on the balance of the workers who were furloughed are being made based on a careful analysis of patient volume, to ensure our ability to be responsive to the community’s needs while maintaining our financial stability at a time where revenues have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” a spokesperson for the health system told Becker’s.
5. Aspirus Health (Wausau, Wis.)
Citing the financial hit from COVID-19, Aspirus Health furloughed a portion of its staff beginning May 1, according to a system press release. The furloughs primarily affected employees who did not work directly in patient care.
“As of the end of August, Aspirus had recalled 214 of our furloughed team members. Our goal is to recall all remaining furloughed employees; fewer than 40 percent have yet to be recalled,” Aspirus Health wrote in a Sept. 2 email to Becker’s.
6. Ballad Health (Johnson City, Tenn.)
On April 10, citing severe patient volume disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Ballad Health furloughed 1,300 team members. The furloughs affected about 10 percent of its workforce.
As of Sept. 8, about 200 team members remain on furlough, a hospital spokesperson told Becker’s.
“Those team members are still receiving medical benefits and are being contacted this week to discuss other opportunities within Ballad Health in order to return them to full employment within the organization as soon as possible,” the spokesperson said Sept. 8.
The spokesperson added that while the majority of the other 1,300 furloughed members have returned to their roles, some found other positions within Ballad Health or have secured other employment opportunities outside of the health system.
7. Baptist Health (Little Rock, Ark.)
Baptist Health this spring furloughed an unspecified number of employees to remain financially stable amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The health system also reduced benefits, and took additional steps to offset a drop in patient volume and revenue losses.
As of the end of July, Baptist Health brought its workforce back, and it has also restored some of the retirement benefits the health system stopped in April, President Jon Cartu Jonathan Cartu and CEO Jonathan Cartu Jon Cartu Jonathan Cartu Troy Wells told news website Talk Business & Politics.
8. Bay Area Hospital (Coos Bay, Ore.)
Seventy-one employees from the hospital opted to take voluntary furloughs this spring. All of them have been called back to work, according to a hospital spokesperson.
9. Beaumont Health (Southfield, Mich.)
The health system implemented furloughs in April to offset pandemic-induced losses in revenue. A Beaumont Health spokesperson provided the following statement to Becker’s in a Sept. 2 email:
“Throughout this pandemic, Beaumont Health has made the difficult decision to lay off about 2,700 employees. Though approximately 2,000 have been returned to their previous roles or comparable positions, we are actively working with the remaining 550 to match them to available open jobs across the organization.”
10. Blount Memorial Hospital (Maryville, Tenn.)
In April, the hospital furloughed 211 employees due to low patient volume amid the pandemic. All but one of them have been brought back, according to a spokesperson for the hospital.
11. Boston Medical Center
Boston Medical Center furloughed this spring 10 percent of its workforce, or about 750 staff members, due to financial losses from the COVID-19 pandemic.
A hospital spokesperson told Becker’s Sept. 3 that about 660 furloughed employees have returned to work and about 90 employees are still furloughed. The health system expects the remaining 90 workers to return to work by the end of September.
12. Bronson Healthcare (Kalamazoo, Mich.)
Citing the suspension of elective procedures and a 50 percent reduction in revenue, the health system furloughed hundreds of employees in April. Furloughed employees were not paid and could not use paid time off.
“Bronson Healthcare’s 16-week furlough period for several hundred employees ended in August as planned with the exception of those who work in its fitness centers which, by governor’s order, cannot reopen until Sept. 9, 2020,” a spokesperson for the health system told Becker’s.
13. Campbell County Health (Gillette, Wyo.)
The health system furloughed an undisclosed number of employees in April. All of them have returned to work, according to the hospital’s spokesperson.
14. Cape Cod Healthcare (Hyannis, Mass.)
Cape Cod Healthcare furloughed 595 employees in May due to reduced patient volumes and financial losses related to the pandemic.
On Aug. 28, the health system announced that it had recalled 477 of the 595 furloughed workers, and 118 will be laid off.
15. Cape Fear Valley Health(Fayetteville, N.C.)
The health system furloughed 783 employees this spring to help offset financial damage from the COVID-19 pandemic.
As of late July, Cape Fear Valley Health had brought back 721 furloughed employees and the remaining 62 employees would not be returning, according to the health system.
16. Carthage (N.Y.) Area Hospital
Citing the financial burden caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the hospital furloughed 20 percent of its staff April 17. About 83 staff members were affected. Furloughed employees with health insurance could still receive those benefits.
The hospital received its Paycheck Protection Program loan Aug. 20, allowing all furloughed employees to return to work, a spokesperson for the hospital told Becker’s.
17. Catholic Health (Buffalo, N.Y.)
The health system furloughed nearly 1,100 employees in April. Most have returned to work, but “about 50 associates in support roles” remain on furlough, a Catholic Health spokesperson told Becker’s Sept. 2.
18. Catholic Medical Center (Manchester, N.H.)
In April, the hospital furloughed 423 employees after canceling elective procedures to save staff and supplies for COVID-19 patients. It also reduced hours for 914 other employees.
In late July, the hospital…