Lee Health to freeze pay for 13,500 employees

https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/compensation-issues/lee-health-to-freeze-pay-for-13-500-employees.html?utm_medium=email

Tuesday's Headlines: Junior Bankers Watch Out—Pay Freeze May Be Imminent |  eFinancialCareers

Fort Myers, Fla.-based Lee Health is freezing salaries for its 13,500 employees next year to help offset financial losses tied to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Fort Myers News-Press

The pay freeze in 2021 will mark the first time in nine years that the publicly operated health system has not given employee raises. Salaries and benefits make up about half of the system’s nearly $2 billion in spending each year, according to the report.

Lee Health is facing a budget deficit for the first time in two decades due to financial strain linked to the pandemic. The salary freeze is one of several steps the system is taking to offset losses and avoid layoffs. 

The system has halted most capital projects, and its top executives took pay cuts earlier this year. Lee Health will also reduce the match for employee retirement plans from 5 percent to 4 percent next year, and health plan premiums and copays will also increase, according to the report.

Read the full Fort Myers News-Press article here

 

 

 

 

Another 870,000 Americans filed new unemployment claims last week

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/jobless-claims-coronavirus-unemployment-week-ended-september-19-2020-184747657.html

Another 870,000 Americans filed for first-time unemployment benefits last week, unexpectedly rising slightly from the prior week to reaffirm a slowdown in the U.S. economic recovery.

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released its weekly jobless claims report at 8:30 a.m. ET Thursday. Here were the main metrics from the report, compared to Bloomberg estimates:

  • Initial jobless claims, week ended Sept. 19: 870,000 vs. 840,000 expected, and 866,000 during the prior week
  • Continuing claims, week ended Sept. 12: 12.580 million vs. 12.275 million expected, and 12.747 million during the prior week

At 870,000, Thursday’s figure represented the fourth consecutive week that new jobless claims came in below the psychologically important 1 million level, but was still high on a historical basis. Nevertheless, the labor market has made strides in recovering from the pandemic-era spike high of nearly 7 million weekly new claims seen in late March.

“While jobless claims under a million for four straight weeks could be considered a positive, we’re staring down a pretty stagnant labor market,” Mike Loewengart, managing director of investment strategy for E-Trade Financial Corporation, said in an email Thursday. “This has been a slow roll to recovery and with no signs of additional stimulus from Washington, jobless Americans will likely continue to exist in limbo. Further, a shaky labor market translates into a skittish consumer, and in the face of a pandemic that seemingly won’t go away without a vaccine, the outlook for the economy certainly comes into question.”

On an unadjusted basis, initial jobless claims rose by a greater margin, or about 28,500, from the previous week to about 824,500. The seasonally adjusted level of new claims rose by 4,000 week on week.

By state, unadjusted claims in California – where joblessness due to the pandemic has compounded with labor market stress due to wildfires – were again the highest in the country at more than 230,000, for an increase of about 4,400 week-over-week. Georgia, New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts also reported significant increases in new claims relative to the rest of the country. Most states reported at least increases in new claims last week.

Continuing claims have also trended lower after a peak of nearly 25 million in May, and fell for a second straight week in this week’s report. But these claims, which capture the total number of individuals still receiving unemployment insurance, have not broken below the 12 million mark since before the pandemic took hold of the labor market in mid-March.

Consistently high numbers of individuals have been filing for, and receiving, jobless benefits from regular state programs, and those newly created during the pandemic. The number of individuals claiming benefits in all programs for the week ended September 5 – the latest reported week – fell for the first time following three straight weeks of increases to 26.04 million, from the nearly 29.8 million reported during the prior week.

Of that total, more than 11.5 million comprised individuals receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, which is aimed at self-employed and gig workers who don’t qualify for regular unemployment compensation but have still been impacted by the pandemic.

One of the major downside risks to further improvement in the labor market has been concern that Congress may not soon pass another round of fiscal stimulus aimed at keeping individuals on payrolls during the pandemic. Economists have already said that the end of the last round of augmented federal unemployment benefits in late July has weighed on improvements in joblessness.

“The current picture suggests that growth has slowed sharply in the past three months, and that the labor market is stalling again in the face of rising infections and the sudden ending of federal government support to unemployed people,” Ian Shepherdson, chief economist for Pantheon Macroeconomics, said in a note Wednesday.

The need for more fiscal stimulus to encourage the economy’s ongoing recovery has become a key talking point of policymakers including Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell and his colleagues at the central bank. In congressional testimony Tuesday and Wednesday, the Fed leader said further fiscal stimulus is “unequaled” by any other form of support that could be unleashed, with the central bank’s lending facilities having gone largely untouched by Main Street.

“The concept of the [congressionally authorized] Paycheck Protection Program was helpful because for many of those kinds of businesses – those businesses that don’t have cash reserves – the ability to get a forgivable loan if they stay open, if they keep people employed, was sound, and did give them the prospect of staying in business,” Joseph Minarik, The Conference Board chief policy economist and former Office of Management and Budget chief economist, told Yahoo Finance. “The notion that you have businesses that have been weak over the last few months and now have simply had to shut their doors, that’s a real problem, and it is not necessity going to be solved with a loan.”

 

 

 

 

Moody’s: Hospital financial outlook worse as COVID-19 relief funds start to dwindle

https://www.fiercehealthcare.com/hospitals/moody-s-hospital-financial-outlook-worse-as-covid-19-relief-funds-start-to-dwindle?mkt_tok=eyJpIjoiWTJZek56Z3lNV1E0TW1NMyIsInQiOiJKdUtkZE5DVGphdkNFanpjMHlSMzR4dEE4M29tZ24zek5lM3k3amtUYSt3VTBoMmtMUnpIblRuS2lYUWozZk11UE5cL25sQ1RzbFpzdExcL3JvalBod3Z6U3BZK3FBNjZ1Rk1LQ2pvT3A5Witkc0FmVkJocnVRM0dPbFJHZTlnRGJUIn0%3D&mrkid=959610

For-profit hospitals are expected to see a financial decline over the next 12 to 18 months as federal relief funds that shored up revenue losses due to COVID-19 start to wane, a recent analysis from Moody’s said.

The analysis, released Monday, finds that cost management is going to be challenging for hospital systems as more surgical procedures are expected to migrate away from the hospital and people lose higher-paying commercial plans and go to lower-paying government programs such as Medicaid.

“The number of surgical procedures done outside of the hospital setting will continue to increase, which will weaken hospital earnings, particularly for companies that lack sizeable outpatient service lines (including ambulatory surgery centers),” the analysis said.

A $175 billion provider relief fund passed by Congress as part of the CARES Act helped keep hospital systems afloat in March and April as volumes plummeted due to the cancellation of elective procedures and reticence among patients to go to the hospitals.

Some for-profit systems such as HCA and Tenet pointed to relief funding to help generate profits in the second quarter of the year. The benefits are likely to dwindle as Congress has stalled over talks on replenishing the fund.

“Hospitals will continue to recognize grant aid as earnings in Q3 2020, but this tailwind will significantly moderate after that,” Moody’s said.

Cost cutting challenges

Compounding problems for hospitals is how to handle major costs.

Some hospital systems cut some costs such as staff thanks to furloughs and other measures.

“Some hospitals have said that for every lost dollar of revenue, they were able to cut about 50 cents in costs,” the analysis said. “However, we believe that these levels of cost cuts are not sustainable.”

Hospitals can’t cut costs indefinitely, but the costs for handling the pandemic (more money for personal protective equipment and safety measures) are going to continue for some time, Moody’s added.

“As a result, hospitals will operate less efficiently in the wake of the pandemic, although their early experiences in treating COVID-19 patients will enable them to provide care more efficiently than in the early days of the pandemic,” the analysis found. “This will help hospitals free up bed capacity more rapidly and avoid the need for widespread shutdowns of elective surgeries.”

But will that capacity be put to use?

The number of surgical procedures done outside of the hospital is likely to increase and will further weaken earnings, Moody’s said.

“Outpatient procedures typically result in lower costs for both consumers and payers and will likely be preferred by more patients who are reluctant to check-in to a hospital due to COVID-19,” the analysis said.

The payer mix will also shift, and not in hospitals’ favor. Mounting job losses due to the pandemic will force more patients with commercial plans toward programs such as Medicaid.

“This will hinder hospitals’ earnings growth over the next 12-18 months,” Moody’s said. “Employer-provided health insurance pays significantly higher reimbursement rates than government-based programs.”

Bright spots

There are some bright spots for hospitals, including that not all of the $175 billion has been dispersed yet. The CARES Act continues to provide hospitals with a 20% add-on payment for treating Medicare patients that have COVID-19, and it suspends a 2% payment cut for Medicare payments that was installed as part of sequestration.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services also proposed increasing outpatient payment rates for the 2021 fiscal year by 2.6% and in-patient rates by 2.9%. The fiscal year is set to start next month.

Patient volumes could also return to normal in 2021. Moody’s expects that patient volumes will return to about 90% of pre-pandemic levels on average in the fourth quarter of the year.

“The remaining 10% is likely to come back more slowly in 2021, but faster if a vaccine becomes widely available,” the analysis found.

 

 

 

 

Three Million People Lost Health Coverage From Their Employers During The Pandemic

https://www.forbes.com/sites/brucejapsen/2020/09/20/pandemics-wrath-on-worker-health-coverage-tops-3-million-so-far/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=coronavirus&cdlcid=5d2c97df953109375e4d8b68#58cf3e92ed47

More than three million American workers lost health insurance coverage this spring and summer from their employers as the pandemic and spread of Covid-19 triggered massive job losses, a new study shows.

In all, there were 3.3 million adults under the age of 65 who lost employer-sponsored health insurance and almost two-thirds of them, or 1.9 million, “became newly uninsured from late April through mid-July,” according to a new analysis by The Urban Institute and funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The loss of employer coverage has hit Hispanic adults particularly hard with 1.6 million losing health benefits, Urban Institute researchers said.

And it could get worse.

“With continued weakness in the labor market, researchers conclude federal and state policymakers will need to act to prevent job losses from leading to further increases in uninsurance,” the authors of the report wrote about their analysis, which was derived from  2020 U.S. Census data.

In particular, the analysis underscores the need to expand health benefits, particularly Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, analysts say. The ACA dangled billions of dollars in front of states to expand Medicaid coverage for poor Americans but 12 states generally led by Republican Governors or legislatures have refused while President Donald Trump and his appointees at the U.S. Justice Department fight led by Republican Governors

 “The danger of an inadequate safety net can be seen in the non-expansion states, where the number of uninsured adults has already increased more than 1 million,” Robert Wood Johnson Foundation senior policy advisor Katherine Hempstead said in a statement accompanying the report.

 

 

 

U.S. Jobless Claims Fall, but Layoffs Continue: Live Updates

U.S. jobless claims fall in mid-September, but the economy still suffering  lots of layoffs - MarketWatch

New claims for state unemployment insurance fell last week, but layoffs continue to come at an extraordinarily high level by historical standards.

Initial claims for state benefits totaled 790,000 before adjusting for seasonal factors, the Labor Department reported Thursday. The weekly tally, down from 866,000 the previous week, is roughly four times what it was before the coronavirus pandemic shut down many businesses in March.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, the total was 860,000, down from 893,000 the previous week.

“It’s not a pretty picture,” said Beth Ann Bovino, chief U.S. economist at S&P Global. “We’ve got a long way to go, and there’s still a risk of a double-dip recession.”

The situation has been compounded by the failure of Congress to agree on new federal aid to the jobless.

A $600 weekly supplement established in March that had kept many families afloat expired at the end of July. The makeshift replacement mandated by President Trump last month has encountered processing delays in some states and has funds for only a few weeks.

“The labor market continues to heal from the viral recession, but unemployment remains extremely elevated and will remain a problem for at least a couple of years,” said Gus Faucher, chief economist at PNC Financial Services. “Initial claims have been roughly flat since early August, suggesting that the pace of improvement in layoffs is slowing.”

New claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, an emergency federal program for freelance workers, independent contractors and others not eligible for regular unemployment benefits, totaled 659,000, the Labor Department reported.

Federal data suggests that the program now has more beneficiaries than regular unemployment insurance. But there is evidence that both overcounting and fraud may have contributed to a jump in claims.

 

 

 

 

Another 884,000 Americans filed new unemployment claims last week

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/jobless-claims-coronavirus-unemployment-week-ended-september-5-2020-165121299.html?.tsrc=fin-notif

Another 884,000 Americans filed for first-time unemployment insurance benefits last week, matching the previous week’s level.

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released its weekly jobless claims report at 8:30 a.m. ET Thursday. Here were the main metrics from the report, compared to consensus estimates compiled by Bloomberg:

  • Initial jobless claims, week ended Sept. 5: 884,000 vs. 850,000 expected and 884,000 during the prior week
  • Continuing claims, week ended Aug. 29: 13.385 million vs. 12.904 million expected and 13.292 million during the prior week

Last week’s new jobless claims were upwardly revised slightly to 884,000, from the 881,000 previously reported. This marked the first time since March that jobless claims came in below 1 million for back-to-back weeks, as claims remained stubbornly elevated but off their peak from the worst point of the pandemic.

The past couple weeks of jobless claims appeared to improve considerably from the more than 1 million new weekly claims reported in mid-August. However, this was due to a technical change in the way the Labor Department made its seasonal adjustments, which applied for the first time to claims counted during the week ended August 28. Previous weeks’ claims were not revised to reflect the new counting method.

The change was made to account for the fact that the pandemic generated a far greater level of new claims per week than would typically occur over the course of a year, throwing off the Labor Department’s usual system of making adjustments for seasonal hiring trends.

Most economists agreed that the new methodology would produce a more accurate dataset on jobless claims during the pandemic period. It also produced a lower reported number of seasonally adjusted jobless claims than would have been generated under the previous method. Under the old method of seasonally adjusting claims, new jobless claims for the week ended August 29 would have risen to 1.02 million, according to an analysis by Ian Shepherdson, chief economist for Pantheon Macroeconomics.

“Interpreting the seasonally adjusted figures is complicated by a recent change in methodology, but in both an SA [seasonally adjusted] sense and an NSA [non-seasonally adjusted] sense, it looks like the trends for both initial and continuing claims filings have flattened out lately after a period with more notable declines,” JPMorgan economist Daniel Silver said in a note Thursday. “This flattening out has been evident in the initial claims data for a few months and in the continuing claims data for a few weeks and it is broadly consistent with the idea that the labor market recovery has lost momentum lately.”

Unadjusted claims have shown a clearer picture of the stalling recovery in the labor market. Last week, unadjusted new weekly jobless claims totaled 857,148, for an increase of 20,140 over the prior week. This was the fourth straight week of increases in unadjusted new claims.

Other economic indicators offered a more upbeat picture of the U.S. labor market. The Labor Department’s monthly jobs report released last Friday showed the U.S. economy added a greater-than-expected 1.371 million payrolls in August, and that the unemployment rate dipped more than anticipated to 8.4%. Wednesday morning, the JOLTS jobs report showed employers had more than 6.6 million job openings in July, topping expectations by over 600,000.

 

Where furloughs stand at 92 hospitals, health systems

https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/finance/where-furloughs-stand-at-92-hospitals-health-systems.html?utm_medium=email

Virus: Idaho school district furloughs 145 employees

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.

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 and CEO 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 April 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 permanently laid off 50 furloughed employees as well as another 21 employees who weren’t on furlough.

As of Aug. 26, all furloughed workers not affected by the layoffs had been brought back, the hospital told Becker’s.

19. Central Maine Healthcare (Lewiston)

The health system furloughed about 330 employees to help offset the revenue loss caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in April. The furloughs affected about 10 percent of its workforce.

A Central Maine Healthcare spokesperson in June said about three-quarters of its 300 employees furloughed in April were recalled.

As of Aug. 31, the remaining employees on furlough had been called back, a spokesperson told Becker’s.

20. Children’s Mercy (Kansas City, Mo.)

The hospital furloughed 575 employeest on April 26. Hospital officials said the furloughs were imposed to help offset fiscal losses attributed to the pandemic.

“As we have started ramping back up, all but 60 of the furloughed employees have been called back. For those eligible, severance packages will be made available. We are deeply grateful for their contributions to Children’s Mercy and the patients and families they have served,” a June 22 letter to employees read.

21. Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center (Ogdensburg, N.Y.)

In April, about 175 of the medical center’s 850 employees were affected by salary reductions, reduced hours or unpaid leave. A spokesperson for the medical center provided Becker’s with the following statement Sept. 3:

“We have been able to return all but 4 percent of our workforce to employment and restore salaries to pre-COVID levels. Nearly half of the layoffs are employees on unpaid leave. Other positions that have remained open or unfilled at this time have also been eliminated, but have not affected current employees. These changes came into effect around July 31, 2020.”

22. Columbia Memorial Hospital (Astoria, Ore.)

The hospital furloughed 90 of its 740 employees in late March after the facility scaled back nonemergent procedures to concentrate on the coronavirus.

As of July 28, the facility reinstated 34 of the 90 furloughed employees.

23. Connecticut Children’s Medical Center (Hartford)

The children’s hospital furloughed 400 employees across its system in April. The system said its patient volume has been cut in half due to halting elective procedures. Furloughed employees were mainly nonclinical workers.

As of Aug. 10, most are back at work, CEO James Shmerling told the Hartford Business Journal.

24. Cookeville (Tenn.) Regional Medical Center 

Citing a decrease in patient volume and revenue due to the pandemic, Cookeville Regional Medical Center furloughed about 400 employees of its 2,300-person workforce.

A hospital spokesperson told Becker’s Sept. 3 that staff members were brought back to the medical center in phases over several weeks. The health system has now called back all of its employees.

“We are happy to report that all our employees have been called back to return to work with full schedules, and almost all services are reopened with processes in place to protect our patients and staff from the spread of COVID-19,” a hospital spokesperson toldBecker’s Hospital Review. 

25. Edward-Elmhurst (Ill.) Health 

The health system furloughed a portion of its 8,000-person workforce due to the pandemic. The furloughs took place across departments over June, July and August.

The health system told Becker’s Aug. 21 it is unclear how many employees were still on furlough.

26. Elizabethtown (N.Y.) Community Hospital

The hospital furloughed 25 staff members in April after experiencing a revenue cut of 50 percent due to the suspension of elective procedures during the COVID-19 pandemic. All but one of the affected employees have returned to work, a hospital representative told Becker’s in a Sept. 2 email.

27. Emory Healthcare (Atlanta) 

Emory Healthcare cut hours or furloughed 1,500 workers to help offset a revenue shortfall due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The health system told Becker’s Aug. 25 that it continues its clinical and financial recovery program after experiencing its second peak of COVID-19. “It would be premature to comment further at this time,” a spokesperson said.

28. Erlanger Health System (Chattanooga, Tenn.)

Erlanger Health System said in March it was implementing a cost-reduction plan that included furloughs and pay reductions for leadership. The moves were prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The health system ended its furloughs June 22, but had to lay off 93 workers who were previously furloughed across the health system, a spokesperson confirmed to Becker’s Sept. 2.

29. Essentia Health (Duluth, Minn.)

Citing the COVID-19 pandemic, Essentia Health in March placed about 500 nonclinical staff on a special administrative leave.

Of those 500 employees, all but 65 of have been brought back to work, a spokesperson for Essentia Health told Becker’s Sept. 2.

30. Evangelical Community Hospital (Lewisburg, Pa.)

This spring, as the pandemic was declared and certain services slowed, Evangelical Community Hospital furloughed a portion of its staff. In March, 250 employees were furloughed, including 173 full or part-time employees and 77 per diem employees.

As of Sept. 8, 155 full and part time employees have been recalled and the per diem employees are used as needed, a hospital spokesperson said. Additionally, nine full and part-time employees were laid off, seven full and part-time employees retired and two full and part time employees remain on furlough, the spokesperson said.

31. Faith Community Health System (Jacksboro, Texas)

In April, the health system furloughed, cut hours or reassigned about 75 percent of its staff due to the suspension of elective procedures.

CEO Frank Beaman told Becker’s Aug. 31 that all furloughed staff have been brought back to work. He added that none of the staff affected by the furloughs or who had their hours cut lost any income, as they were able to use vacation time to supplement their income.

32. Fayette County Memorial Hospital (Washington Court House, Ohio)

Citing a revenue and patient volume drop from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ohio hospital furloughed 71 of its 352 employees this spring.

A hospital spokesperson told Becker’s that everybody was brought back mid-May. Since workers were brought back, one employee has been laid off, the spokesperson said.

33. Fenway Health (Boston) 

In March and April, Fenway Health furloughed 143 employees in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As of Sept. 1, 52 of those employees have been brought back to work, Fenway told Becker’s. Of the 83 still on furlough, about 65 of them work in Fenway’s retail, dental and acupuncture operations.

Fenway has not laid off any of the furloughed staff and they have all received full health insurance coverage during their furloughs. Eight of the furloughed employees have left Fenway, a spokesperson told Becker’s.

“We ultimately expect to bring everyone back as our patient care volume continues to return to pre-pandemic levels,” the spokesperson added.

34. Freeman Health System (Joplin, Mo.) 

Freeman Health System implemented a voluntary furlough program for its staff members this spring after suspending elective procedures.

A hospital spokesperson told Becker’s Sept. 2 that all of the employees who volunteered to take furloughs have returned to work. The furloughs lasted about one month and had no impact on benefits. Freeman Health System was also able to implement staff raises during this time, according to the hospital spokesperson.

35. Froedtert Health (Wauwatosa, Wis.) 

Froedtert Health furloughed and cut the hours of some workers in April, according to furloughed nurses from the system.

“Like all healthcare organizations, we continue to evaluate the daily operational and staffing needs for our organization. Since March, staff members continued to remain active Froedtert Health employees during low-census and furlough status. At this time, approximately 1 percent  of our staff are impacted by reduced hours,” a hospital spokesperson told Becker’s Sept. 2.

36. Halifax Health (Daytona Beach, Fla.) 

In April, the health system furloughed nearly 400 of its staff members and required all nonclinical staff take one day off per week.

In July, Halifax laid off 95 of the furloughed workers. Employees no longer had to take one day of paid time off each week as of July 1 and employees who took a pay cut instead of paid days off had their salaries restored.

All furloughed workers unaffected by the layoffs returned to work Aug. 3, Halifax told Becker’s.

37. Henry Ford Health System (Detroit)

In April, the health system furloughed 2,800 staffers not directly involved in patient care due to financial damage from the COVID-19 pandemic. Ninety-two percent of furloughed staff have returned to work, a Henry Ford representative told Becker’s in an Aug. 31 email.

38. Hillcrest HealthCare System (Tulsa, Okla.)

Hillcrest HealthCare System said in April it would furlough 600 employees for up to 90 days. The furloughs affected about 9 percent of staff and were a result of a decline in routine and elective procedures due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A hospital spokesperson told Becker’s Sept. 1: “We made the difficult decision to reduce staffing in some areas across our system as part of a strategic restructuring due to the devastating impact from COVID-19. While the reduction represents less than 1 percent of our workforce, it does not make the decision any less difficult or impactful to those team members affected.”

39. Hospital Sisters Health System (Springfield, Ill.)

Hospital Sisters Health System furloughed a portion of its staff in April due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In August, the health system announced plans to reduce its workforce by 10 percent. The reductions include some of those who were furloughed.

40. Infirmary Health (Mobile, Ala.)

Citing a decrease in patient volume and revenue, the health system furloughed a portion of its staff in April. All affected employees have returned to work, according to an Infirmary Health spokesperson.

41. Kaleida Health (Buffalo, N.Y.)

The health system offered a temporary, voluntary furlough program for its staff in April. The furlough program is a joint agreement with two unions that represent 8,000 Kaleida Health employees. All of the health system’s furloughed employees have since returned, according to Michael Hughes, its senior vice president and chief of staff.

42. Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital (Somerset, Ky.)

In April, the hospital placed 17 percent of its workforce on temporary leave. Those workers continued to receive health insurance and 25 percent of their wages.

As of Sept. 2, all of those employees have returned to work, according to CEO Robert Parker.

“We are extremely grateful to our many dedicated team members, across all of our departments, who have worked tirelessly to keep one another and our patients safe as we continue the fight against COVID-19,” Mr. Parker said.

43. Lawrence (La.) General Hospital

In early April, Lawrence General placed 8 percent of its staff, or 160 employees, on a four-week furlough. Most of the furloughs affected nonclinical workers.

The hospital told Becker’s Sept. 2 that the safety-net facility had to extend the initial time frame of the four-week furlough four more weeks to address the volume dip and subsequent revenue loss attributed to the pandemic.

Although most of the furloughed workers returned to work June 15, 10 furloughed positions were eliminated, and a few employees remained on furlough until July 15. Now, those workers are back.

“Within weeks, canceling all elective volume and ramping up staff, supplies and equipment for the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a 40 percent decline in patient volume and income and an increase in costs. The response required by Lawrence General Hospital to fight the pandemic, combined with an already challenging financial outlook for safety-net hospitals,” a Lawrence General hospital spokesperson said.

44. Lee Health (Fort Myers, Fla.)

Lee Health offered voluntary buyouts and voluntary summer leave program to help offset losses attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic.

About 600 employees took voluntary buyouts, and a lot of workers took summer sabbaticals, but no one is keeping track of the exact number, a spokesperson for the health system told Becker’s Aug. 24. The spokesperson said about 150 people took leaves of absence. Lee Health is trying to get all of these workers back as patient volume returns to  normal.

45. Lewis County Health System (Lowville, N.Y)

The health system placed 14 percent of its workforce on unpaid leave in April due to the pandemic. They have all returned to work, according to a spokesperson from the health system.

46. Marshfield (Wis.) Clinic

Marshfield Clinic in April said it would furlough employees who are not involved in preparing for the anticipated surge in COVID-19 patients.

As of Sept. 1, the system had recalled 96 percent of the employees who were on furlough, a Marshfield Clinic spokesperson confirmed to Becker’s. Some of the employees who did not return retired or ended employment with the health system, the spokesperson said.

47. Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital (Grand Rapids, Mich.)

The hospital furloughed 32 percent of its staff members in April, affecting 603 employees. As of Aug. 31, 512 employees had returned, 34 remain furloughed and 57 were terminated, a hospital representative told Becker’sSept. 1.

The spokesperson also said that Mary Free Bed augmented unemployment benefits when it issued the furloughs so employees would receive about 75 percent of their regular wages. Affected employees also received dental, vision and life insurance, as well as 100 percent coverage for behavioral health telehealth visits and COVID-19 treatment.

48. Maury Regional Health(Columbia, Tenn.)

Maury Regional Health implemented two rounds of furloughs this spring that affected 414 employees; the first round affected 340 employees.

A hospital spokesperson told Becker’s Sept. 2 that of the 414 employees affected, 287 staff members were called back to work, and 127 employees were laid off.

49. McDonough District Hospital (Macomb, Ill.)

The hospital furloughed 60 workers in April amid declining revenue from the pandemic. It has brought back 14 of those employees, a hospital representative told Becker’s in a Sept. 2 email.

50. Mid-Columbia Medical Center (Dalles, Ore.) 

The medical center began furloughing employees May 3 in an effort to help offset losses attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic. The furloughs primarily affected departments that were not seeing a lot of patients.

A Mid-Columbia Medical Center spokesperson told Becker’s the medical center has brought back all of its furloughed staff members, except for those who worked within its spa services, which have been closed due to financial instability.

51. Melissa Memorial Hospital (Holyoke, Colo.)

Melissa Memorial Hospital, a 15-bed critical access hospital with about 100 employees, placed 19 employees on furlough this spring due to a reduction in volume amid the coronavirus pandemic. The hospital had a layered approach to cost reduction, as some employees were on reduced hours, some on furlough, and managers volunteered to take pay cuts.

Cathy Harshbarger, BSN, RN, and the hospital’s CEO, confirmed with Becker’s that due to restructuring to respond to the pandemic, eight employees were laid off, and the remaining employees were brought back to work. Terminated employees were offered a severance package.

Six of the eight terminated employees were part of the hospital’s dental and optical departments, which were struggling with volume before the pandemic. The hospital looked at operations and reworked many of the departments to gain efficiencies. Due to this restructuring, the other two employees were laid off.

All employees who took pay cuts have had their regular salaries restored, Ms. Harshbarger said.

“It’s scary for a rural hospital. Our little hospital was dealing with trying to build cash again after a loss in volume. At the beginning, we were worried because we had just 32 days of cash on hand. We had to act very quickly and tighten things down,” Ms. Harshbarger said. “Through teamwork, we developed and found efficiencies we really needed.”

52. Mercy Medical Center (Canton, Ohio.)

Mercy Medical Center began implementing furloughs in March  due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The system placed 349 employees on full furlough and 376 employees on partial furlough.

As of Sept. 3, 15 employees remain on full furlough, two remain on partial furlough, and 19 employee  positions were eliminated, according to a hospital spokesperson.

53. Mohawk Valley Health System (Utica, N.Y.)

The health system furloughed about 20 percent of its workforce of 4,000 in April as part of a cost-cutting plan to recover from lost revenue caused by the pandemic. A spokesperson for the health system told Becker’s that about “300 employees have been brought back so far” in a Sept. 2 email.

54. Monument Health (Rapid City, S.D.)

In April, Monument Health placed 200 employees on furlough to help preserve protective gear and save costs after suspending elective surgeries. The furloughs affected 4 percent of its workforce. The health system “brought its furloughed caregivers back as needed through Aug. 17, when the furlough officially ended,” a Monument representative told Becker’s.

55. Munson Healthcare (Traverse City)

Citing a financial hit from the suspension of elective procedures, the health system furloughed a portion of its staff in April.

“While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact Munson Healthcare in significant ways, we can report that 90 percent of the individuals who were placed in furlough status are no longer on furlough,” a Munson Healthcare spokesperson told Becker’s in a Sept. 2 email.

56. MUSC Health (Charleston, S.C.)

The eight-hospital system said it would temporarily lay off 900 employees, or 5 percent of its workforce, to offset the financial hit caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The temporary layoffs, which do not affect nonclinical workers, were effective April 7.

MUSC Health said in late June it has called back nearly half of the employees who had been furloughed.

57. Myrtue Medical Center (Harlan, Iowa)

The medical center furloughed a portion of its 422 employees in April due to a revenue drop from the pandemic. All of the furloughed employees have returned to work, according to a hospital spokesperson.

58. Niagara Falls (N.Y.) Memorial Hospital 

The hospital furloughed 52 employees in April to offset a revenue loss due to the pandemic. It received federal Paycheck Protection Program funding and was able to bring back all of its furloughed staff, a spokesperson for the hospital told Becker’s.

59. North Bend Medical Center (Coos Bay, Ore.)

North Bend Medical Center this spring furloughed 130 employees to prepare for the novel coronavirus pandemic.

According to John Burles, North Bend Medical Center CEO, most of the furloughed workers have been called back to work, but about 30 did not return, many of whom were offered their positions back. The hospital has been able to hire new people to fill some of those positions.

60. Northern Light Health (Brewer, Maine)

The health system asked staff to volunteer for furloughs in early April.

A spokesperson for Northern Light Health told Becker’s Aug. 31 that 187 employees were granted a voluntary furlough, the average length of which was 36 days. The last furloughed employee was slated to return Sept. 6.

61. Noyes Health (Dansville, N.Y.)

In April, Noyes Health furloughed some of its staff for one to two weeks on a rolling basis, citing a revenue decline of 50 percent due to the pandemic. All affected employees returned from furlough by June, and the health system’s budgeted revenue has bounced back into the upper 90 percent range for June and July, according to a spokesperson for the health system.

62. Olmsted Medical Center (Rochester, Minn.)

The medical center furloughed 200 people in April to offset the financial hit caused by the pandemic. All affected employees have returned to work, according to a spokesperson.

63. Pikeville (Ky.) Medical Center

The medical center furloughed more than 200 employees April 26 amid mounting financial pressure due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Most employees have returned to their positions, and the medical center is bringing back the fewer than three dozen remaining employees, according to a medical center spokesperson.

64. Premier Health (Dayton, Ohio)

The Dayton-based health system said this spring it would furlough an undisclosed number of employees due to an anticipated financial hit from Ohio’s interim ban on nonessential surgeries.

In response to Becker’s request for an update on furloughs, the organization provided a statement from the Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association, which includes Premier Health, but is not specific to Premier Health.

“The Dayton region’s hospitals employ more than 34,000 individuals across our 11-county region. During COVID-19, 5,648 healthcare workers and hospital employees were temporarily furloughed due to Ohio’s executive order that suspended elective and nonessential surgeries. At this time, most furloughed employees have returned to work,” the hospital association stated.

65. Prisma Health (Greenville, S.C.)

Citing the financial hit from the COVID-19 pandemic, Prisma Health said it furloughed about 3,900 of its 30,000-person workforce this spring.

“We are on the front end of a long-term recovery effort, as is the entire U.S. economy. As we need staffing for patient care, we have continuously been recalling furloughed clinical staff or increasing hours for those team members whose hours were previously reduced. We do not have an update on the number of earlier announced furloughs or reduced hours because staffing is constantly shifting to accommodate the impact of COVID-19 as it ebbs and flows in our communities,” Prima Health told Becker’s Sept. 3.

66. Providence Oregon (Portland)

Providence Oregon implemented staff furloughs and leadership pay cuts to help offset financial losses attributed to the pandemic. At the time, the health system said its core leaders would take a one-week unpaid furlough between May 17 and July 31. In addition, the health system said caregivers would flex their hours during the same time period.

Providence Oregon has since seen its patient volumes recover to near-expected levels, with 95 percent of budgeted volume in June, the health system told Becker’s Sept. 3. Therefore, the health system has ended most patient-facing caregiver furloughs. “We continue to manage our operations during the pandemic based on the new economic realities,” Providence Oregon said.

67. St. Agnes Medical Center (Fresno, Calif.) 

The medical center furloughed 161 employees in April to better align its resources with the pandemic-induced reduction in services. As its volume has been slowly ramping up, it has brought back 94 of those employees.

“We’re hopeful this trend will continue so we can soon return even more,” a spokesperson for the medical center told Becker’s Aug 27.

68. St. Claire HealthCare (Morehead, Ky.)

St. Claire HealthCare announced in late March it would furlough 300 employees who are not involved in direct patient care to ensure it can sustain clinical operations during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

A hospital spokesperson told Becker’s Sept. 2: “We are very fortunate we have been able to return the vast majority of our furloughed staff to work.”

69. St. Joseph Health (Syracuse, N.Y.)

The hospital system furloughed about 500 workers to deal with an “unprecedented fiscal fallout” from the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Syracuse.com.

St. Joseph’s Health brought back 135 workers as of June 1, according to Syracuse.com.

Most of the remaining furloughed employees have since been recalled back into employment, according to an Aug. 31 press release emailed to Becker’s.

70. St. Lawrence Health System (Potsdam, N.Y)

The three-hospital system temporarily furloughed 427 workers in April to help offset the revenue loss caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. By the end of June, 25 of those positions were permanently eliminated, all of which were full time and primarily at the management level.

71. St. Luke’s Hospital (Chesterfield, Mo.) 

St. Luke’s offered a voluntary furlough program to employees in May. A spokesperson told Becker’s Sept. 8 that about 300 employees accepted the offer and received paid benefits while they received unemployment insurance and the additional benefits provided by the Coronavirus, Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act.

The furlough program ended at the end of July, the hospital said, and most furloughed employees are back in their normal positions.

“For those whose normal positions were and are still impacted by the pandemic, they have the opportunity to be part of a COVID-19 screening pool to cover essential needs and to minimize reductions in their work schedules whenever possible,” the spokesperson said.

72. Sarasota (Fla.) Memorial Hospital

Sarasota Memorial Hospital furloughed 640 staff members in March and April as patient volumes dropped amid a statewide elective procedure ban.

A hospital spokesperson told Becker’s Sept. 3 that staff were brought back in phases as the ban was lifted and volume returned. Specifically, most employees were brought back in May and the rest returned by the end of June.

73. Scotland Health Care System (Laurinburg, N.C.)

The health system furloughed nearly 70 employees through June 30 due to a pandemic-induced drop in patient volume and revenue, according to The Laurinburg Exchange. Most affected employees work in nonclinical roles, though some front-line staff were furloughed. All furloughed employees have since returned to work, a human resources representative told Becker’s.

74. Sinai Health System (Chicago)

Crain’s Chicago Business reported the health system would lay off 24 nonclinical employees, furlough about 150 caregivers and cut hours for another 200 employees during April, citing a loss of $10 million per month due to the COVID-19 pandemic. All but 13 of Sinai’s furloughed employees have been brought back, according to the hospital’s spokesperson.

75. Stamford (Conn.) Health

Stamford Health furloughed 375 employees to help offset a revenue loss from the COVID-19 pandemic.

As of Aug. 31, five full-time employees are still on furlough, and the health system plans to bring those employees back, a spokesperson told Becker’s.

76. Stanford (Calif.) Health Care

Stanford Health Care’s Temporary Workforce Adjustment program, which began on April 27, required all exempt, non-represented employees, including executive leadership, to take 12 days off in a 10-week period or a pay reduction of 20 percent for the 10 weeks. More than 99 percent of its workforce chose to use paid time off. The program allowed all staff who did not have enough PTO hours to use hours they had not yet earned to maintain their pay level. Those who needed to were allowed to go into a negative PTO balance and earn the hours back.

The program ended for Service Employees International Union employees June 20 and ended for all other employees July 4. All furloughed employees have returned to their regularly scheduled hours, a spokesperson told Becker’s.

77. Stephens Memorial Hospital (Breckenridge, Texas)

Stephens Memorial Hospital furloughed a portion of its staff in April due to the pandemic.

The hospital was able to bring back all furloughed employees after a few weeks, a hospital spokesperson told Becker’s Aug. 31. “We have been fortunate to benefit from the programs that have been offered to help rural hospitals stay open during this time,” the spokesperson added. “Our volumes have consistently increased back up to or near pre-pandemic levels with the exception of our emergency department. They are still seeing about 60 percent of average based on historical data.”

78. Summa Health (Akron, Ohio) 

Throughout the spring, Summa Health furloughed 728 of its 7,200 employees in an effort to cut costs.

In August, the health system brought back the majority of the furloughed employees. As of Aug. 25, 12 employees remained on furlough, the health system told Becker’s.

79. Thomas Health (South Charleston, W.Va.)

Thomas Health, which had 1,663 employees at the start of the pandemic, furloughed 584 of those staff members.

Due to attrition and reorganization, the health system brought back all but 80 employees, a health system spokesperson told Becker’s Sept. 2.”Since then, we have already hired 50 new full-time employees,” the spokesperson added.  

80. Tower Health (Philadelphia)

In April, the seven-hospital system furloughed at least 1,000 employees due to the financial hit from the COVID-19 pandemic, affecting roughly 7 percent of the system’s 14,000-person workforce. In a Sept. 2 email, a Tower Health spokesperson told Becker’s “almost all staff furloughed in April have been recalled.” 

81. Trinity Health (Livonia, Mich.), which includes Trinity Health of New England (Hartford, Conn.)

Trinity Health, a 92-hospital system, implemented furloughs across its network. At its Michigan hospitals, 2,500 employees were furloughed this spring, while an undisclosed number of employees were furloughed at Trinity Health of New England.

In July, the health system said it would lay off and reduce work schedules of 1,000 employees.

A Trinity Health spokesperson told Becker’s Sept. 3: “Our staffing reductions were less than 3 percent of our workforce nationally, which is much lower than we originally anticipated would be required due to stronger-than-expected resurgence of patient volume. Many furloughed colleagues have either returned to work or are anticipated to return to work as patient volumes grow.”

82. UK Healthcare (Lexington, Ky.) 

The health system furloughed 1,500 employees to help offset a COVID-19-related revenue loss in April. Only two of the affected employees remain on a partial furlough, which is one day per week, a UK Healthcare spokesperson told Becker’s in a Sept. 2 email.

83. UnityPoint Health (West Des Moines, Iowa)

The health system began implementing furloughs April 26, which affected employees in areas of the system that were operating at capacity or experiencing closures. Most of them have been brought back.

“UnityPoint Health has returned more than 95 percent of our team members from furlough and has reinstated our standard pay practices,” a spokesperson said in a Sept. 1 email. “We continue to evaluate opportunities to respond to the rapidly evolving dynamics of the pandemic including executive benefit offerings and other options. Our top priority remains the health and safety of our team members, patients and communities.”

84. University Hospitals (Cleveland)

The health system cut the hours and pay of 4,100 employees not involved in patient care in April, all of whom have since returned to work.

“Furloughs for nonclinical caregivers were temporary and involved 20 percent reduction in hours over a 10-week period,” a system representative told Becker’s. “Our caregivers continued to receive benefits and were eligible to continue pay by using earned or borrowed paid time off. UH leaders in clinical and nonclinical positions continued to work through the 10-week period at reduced levels of pay. The temporary furloughs have ended, and all of our caregivers are focused on restoring care for our patients that may have been delayed because of the pandemic.” 

85. University of Chicago Medical Center  

University of Chicago Medical Center furloughed more than 800 employees in May.

A hospital spokesperson told Becker’s Aug. 26 the furloughs have ended, and no other layoffs or further furloughs have been announced.

86. University of Kansas Health System St. Francis Campus (Topeka)

The University of Kansas Health System in April laid off 29 employees and furloughed 235 to help offset the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In mid-June, the health system restructured and consolidated some services and laid off 33 employees to manage the effect of COVID-19. The 33 affected employees represent about 2.3 percent of the hospital’s workforce, and most had already been put on furlough.

Becker’s reached out to the University of Kansas Health System to provide an update on whether the remaining furloughed employees have been brought back.

87. University of Vermont Medical Center (Burlington)

University of Vermont Medical Center furloughed hundreds of employees this year. More than 660 employees were affected by furlough at some point, with numbers fluctuating throughout the spring and summer as some redeployed into new positions, such as screening employees and patients for COVID-19 symptoms at hospital entrances, or assisting colleagues with proper PPE usage, a spokesperson told Becker’s Sept. 8.

The medical center has recalled more than 400 employees to their normal roles amid the resumption of nonurgent and routine procedures. The spokesperson said nearly all affected employees will be back in their normal roles by the end of September.

88. UW Medicine (Seattle)

UW Medicine announced furloughs of approximately 1,500 professional and non-union staff members in May. It also announced furloughs of approximately 4,000 union employees in May and layoffs of 100 staff members in July due to financial challenges from the pandemic.

The health system told Becker’s Aug. 26 that 260 staff furloughs were canceled, either due to increased patient volumes or a need for staff coverage.

89. Vidant Health (Greenville, N.C.)

To address the financial hit and patient volume dip caused by the pandemic, the health system furloughed 212 of its employees. A Vidant Health spokesperson told Becker’s in a Sept. 2 email that 207 of them had returned to work.

90. Virginia Mason Medical Center (Seattle)

Virginia Mason Medical Center furloughed an undisclosed number of employees this spring amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Most of the affected employees were in nonclinical roles.

A Virginia Mason spokesperson said the hospital system has resumed services in compliance with Washington state’s guidelines, and some furloughed workers have returned to work.

“While some team members who were temporarily furloughed during the peak of the pandemic have returned to work, I am unable to provide specific figures or percentages,” a hospital spokesperson told Becker’s Sept. 3.

91. Washington Regional Medical Center (Fayetteville, Ark.) 

In April, the hospital furloughed 305 full-time employees to help offset revenue losses tied to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Of those employees, 288 had been brought back by late July and the remaining workers returned to work by Aug. 2.

Natalie Hardin, director of marketing and public relations at the hospital, told Becker’sthat a small number of the furloughed workers resigned or found other jobs. No employees remain on furlough as of Aug. 25.

“This does not mean that Washington Regional’s pandemic related revenue troubles are over — far from it. The pandemic presents an unpredictable challenge that we recognize will remain with us for some time to come. As a result, we will continue to focus on our financial and clinical operations to ensure that our health system is on a sound footing now and into the future,” CEO Larry Shackelford said in a statement.

92. West Tennessee Healthcare (Jackson)

West Tennessee Healthcare furloughed 1,100 individuals of its 7,000-person workforce. The health system said it lost $18 million in March due to the statewide ban on elective procedures that went into effect March 23.

“We have three employees who still aren’t working their normal hours, but the other employees who were furloughed are working,” a spokesperson wrote in a Sept. 1 email to Becker’s.

 

 

 

 

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Healthcare jobs grew by 75K in August as industry recovers from job losses due to COVID-19

https://www.fiercehealthcare.com/hospitals/healthcare-jobs-grew-by-75k-august-as-industry-recovers-from-job-losses-due-to-covid-19

The healthcare industry added 75,000 jobs last month, a decline compared with the 126,000 that were added in July, the latest federal jobs report shows.

But there are some bright spots for the industry that is still recovering from major unemployment earlier this year sparked by job losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ jobs report released Friday showed that hospitals continue to add more jobs after several major subsystems furloughed and laid off workers at the onset of the pandemic in March.

Hospitals added 14,000 jobs in August, which was below the 27,000 jobs the industry added in July.

The industry shed 26,000 jobs in May as hospitals took massive revenue hits from the cancellation of elective procedures and lower patient volume due to COVID-19.

Job numbers continue to recover robustly for other sectors of the healthcare industry.

Physician offices added 27,000 jobs and dentists another 22,000 in August. Home healthcare agencies added 12,000 positions in August.

But things continue to get worse for nursing homes.

Nursing homes and residential care facilities lost 14,000 jobs. But it was the lowest number of job losses the industry has faced in months.

In July the sector lost 28,000 jobs. In June, 20,000 positions were shed.

While several parts of the healthcare industry are adding jobs, the overall picture has been bleak. The federal government reported last month that healthcare employment has been down by nearly 800,000 jobs since February.

Things could continue to get worse for both hospitals and physician offices. Experts predict that hospital volumes, which have rebounded since major drops in March and April, are still below pre-pandemic levels for some facilities.