70 hospitals furloughing workers in response to COVID-19


City of San Antonio furloughs nearly 300 amid COVID-19 pandemic | KABB

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. 

April 9

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.

“This is an incredibly difficult time for our health system, and this is not a decision we made lightly. I regret the immediate personal impact on these employees and their families,” Jennie Stuart Health CEO Eric Lee told the publication.

5. Marshfield (Wis.) Clinic will furlough employees who are not involved in preparing for the anticipated surge in COVID-19 patients, according to local news station WEAU.  The furloughs are expected to be temporary, and staff can be recalled at any point in time to help manage the surge, according to the report.

6. Due to the suspension of elective procedures, Ashtabula (Ohio) County Medical Center is furloughing a portion of its workforce, according to the Star Beacon. To reduce the number of employees affected by the furlough, the hospital is training some employees to support different clinical departments in anticipation of a surge of COVID-19 patients.

7. University of Kansas Health System St. Francis Campus in Topeka is laying off 29 employees and furloughing 235, according to The Topeka Capital Journal. The furloughs and layoffs are an effort to offset the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The furloughs affect about 17 percent of the hospital’s staff.

8. Holyoke, Colo.-based Melissa Memorial Hospital is placing 19 employees on furlough for about three months, according to The Holyoke Enterprise. Furloughed employees are expected to return to work on July 26. The hospital said the decision was made because revenue was down due to the suspension of elective procedures.

9. Mad River Community Hospital, a 78-bed hospital in Arcata, Calif., is placing some employees on a full or partial furlough, according to Lost Coast Outpost. Hospital officials said the move is “essential” to ensure its doors remain open after the pandemic.

10. Citing challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Oklahoma City-based Integris Health plans to furlough employees not involved in direct patient care, according to News 9. The furloughs are expected to be temporary. Affected employees will still receive health insurance benefits.

11. Abilene (Texas) Regional Medical Center has placed a small number of employees on furlough, according to KTXS, an ABC affiliate. Affected employees work in areas where services have been curtailed or suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

April 8

1. MUSC Health, an eight-hospital system based in Charleston, S.C., 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.

2. Nonclinical employees at Peoria, Ill.-based OSF HealthCare will be subject to mandatory paid time off or will be furloughed, the health system said April 7. The health system said the furloughs are necessary to help offset a revenue loss caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is important for the communities OSF has been called to serve for more than 142 years that we stabilize our financial position and protect our culture so we can continue to serve those communities, and our Mission Partners and their families in Illinois and Michigan,” said Mike Allen, CFO of OSF HealthCare. “Our priority remains equipping our frontlines with the resources they need to ensure the continuation of essential care, while protecting those providing that care.”

3. Citing a revenue and patient volume reduction caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Holyoke, Mass.-based Valley Health System has furloughed 225 employees, according to Western Mass News. The furloughs affect about 11 percent of its workforce.

4. Odessa (Texas) Regional Medical Center has furloughed 60 employees to help offset a revenue loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic, CBS 7 reports. Affected employees will still receive insurance and are expected to be called back to work.

5. Medical Center Hospital in Odessa, Texas, has furloughed 30 staff members after the facility was ordered to suspend the lucrative elective procedures to save resources and staff to treat COVID-19 patients, according to CBS 7. The hospital has reassigned hospital workers to different areas, but Medical Center Hospital CEO Russell Tippin told the publication that it has been difficult.

“We’re in such a regulated industry that it’s hard,” Mr. Tippin told CBS 7. “You can’t take a pharmacist and put them in radiology. And you can’t take a radiologist and put them in pharmacy.”

6. Citing financial difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Chillicothe, Ohio-based Adena Health System plans to furlough nonclinical workers in the coming weeks, according to a video from Adena CEO Jeff Graham.

7. In an effort to ease the financial damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Amarillo, Texas-based BSA Hospital plans to furlough some of its employees for up to 90 days, according to ABC 7 Amarillo. 

8. Magnolia (Ark.) Regional Medical Center has furloughed an undisclosed number of nonclinical staff, including administrative and clerical workers, according to The Magnolia Banner News. The furloughs are expected to last at least two months. Affected staff will remain on the MRMC roster and maintain insurance, according to the report.

9. Caribou, Maine-based Cary Medical Center has furloughed a number of employees due to a drop in patient volume and revenue as a result of preparing for a COVID-19 patient surge, according to The Bangor Daily News. A majority of the furloughs affect support staff for physicians, according to the report.

10. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Hartford, Conn.-based Trinity Health of New England plans to furlough an undisclosed number of employees, according to The Hartford Courant. The majority of the furloughs will affect nonclinical workers.

“This will enable us to focus our resources on the functions directly related to essential COVID-19 patient care needs that we anticipate, while protecting people and helping prevent the spread of the disease,” Trinity Health of New England said in a statement to The Hartford Courant. 

April 7

1. Tulsa, Okla.-based HillCrest HealthCare System will furlough 600 employees for up to 90 days, according to local news station KRMG. The furloughs affect about 9 percent of staff and are a result of a decline in routine and elective procedures due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

2. Thomas Health System in South Charleston, W.Va., plans to furlough “less than 500” employees starting this week, according to the West Virginia Gazette Mail. In announcing the furloughs, the health system cited the suspension of nonemergent procedures due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

3. Citing a decrease in patient volume and revenue due to the pandemic, Cookeville (Tenn.) Regional Medical Center has furloughed 400 employees, according to Fox 17 News. 

“The pandemic created by COVID-19 has had a devastating impact not only in our community and state but across our entire country and the world that has required each of us to make sacrifices,” the hospital said in a statement to Fox 17 News. 

4. Cape Fear Valley Health, based in Fayetteville, N.C., plans to furlough an additional 350 employees, according to The Fayetteville Observer. The health system had already furloughed about 300 employees on March 27. The health system said since the first round of furloughs, its inpatient occupancy has dropped to 60 percent.

5. Citing a revenue and patient volume drop from the COVID-19 pandemic, Washington Court House, Ohio-based Fayette County Memorial Hospital has furloughed 71 of its 352 employees, according to radio station WKKJ. The furloughs are expected to last for 30 days.

6. M Health Fairview, a 10-hospital system in Minneapolis, is asking physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants in some clinics to volunteer to take a week of unpaid leave as a furlough, according to The Star Tribune.The system is taking volunteers for one-week physician furloughs through May 3. Those who volunteer will still receive benefits.

7. Mountain Home, Ark.-based Baxter Regional Medical Center plans to furlough an undisclosed number of employees to ease the financial hit from a decrease in volume and increased costs to prepare for the COVID-19 pandemic, according to local news station KTLO.  The furloughs are expected to be temporary. The hospital will reevaluate if additional measures are needed or if employees can return after four weeks.

8. Joplin, Mo.-based Freeman Health System plans to furlough an undisclosed number of employees after suspending elective procedures to prepare for the anticipated surge in COVID-19 patients, according to FourStatesHomepage.com

9. Lawrence (La.) General Hospital has placed 160 staff members on a four-week furlough, according to The Eagle Tribune. Most of the furloughs, which are expected to be temporary, affect nonclinical workers. Lawrence General has about 2,000 employees.

10. Froedtert Health has furloughed some workers, according to local news station Fox 6, which spoke to furloughed nurses from the Wauwatosa, Wis.-based system on the condition of anonymity.

April 6

1. Huntington, W.Va.-based Mountain Health Network furloughed 550 employees and cut the hours of 450, according to local news station WSAZ. The furloughs are a result of the financial and resource strain prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

2. LRGHealthcare, based in Laconia, N.H., plans to furlough 600 employees for up to four months to cope with the financial effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Laconia Daily Sun. Affected employees will keep their medical insurance and can receive unemployment compensation.

3. Citing a 35 percent reduction in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Columbia, Tenn.-based Maury Regional Health will furlough 340 employees this week, according to The Columbia Daily Herald. Maury Regional Health employs more than 3,000.

“We are experiencing unprecedented events as the COVID-19 pandemic evolves. After much deliberation, we were forced to make the difficult decision to furlough employees in the face of declining volumes and revenue. We plan to begin calling back employees as patient volumes normalize,” Maury Regional CEO Alan Watson told the Daily Herald.

4. Franklin, Tenn.-based Williamson Medical Center will furlough 200 employees due to a loss in revenue attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic and government mandates to postpone elective procedures, according to The Tenneseean. The furloughs, which began taking place April 1, are expected to be temporary.

5. Coos Bay, Ore.-based North Bend Medical Center has furloughed 130 employees to prepare for the novel coronavirus pandemic, according to TheWorldLink.com. The medical center is still providing insurance to the furloughed workers.

6. Citing a $16 million revenue loss in March due to the postponement of elective procedures, Sarasota (Fla.) Memorial Hospital will furlough an undisclosed number of employees, according to local news station WUSF. The hospital, which has 6,400 employees, expects to lose even more revenue in April and May due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

7. Citing a revenue dip from suspending nonemergent procedures, Miami-based Jackson Health System will furlough employees not directly caring for patients, according to the Miami Herald. The system will also cut pay for management.

“Our revenues have been devastated by the cancellation of so much non-emergency patient care, and it’s not clear when federal relief dollars will arrive or whether they will fill the gap,” Carlos Migoya, CEO of Jackson Health System, said in a memo obtained by the Miami Herald. 

8. Dayton, Ohio-based Premier Health will furlough an undisclosed number of employees due to an anticipated financial hit from Ohio’s interim ban on nonessential surgeries, according to The Dayton Business Journal. The furloughs will affect employees that are not providing patient care.

9. Due to a loss in revenue and patient volume, Conway (S.C.) Medical Center plans to furlough about 100 employees who are not frontline care providers, according to WMBF. The hospital said the mandate on suspending elective procedures caused the revenue and volume drop.

April 3

1. Burlington, Mass.-based Wellforce, which includes four community hospitals, one academic medical center and a children’s hospital, has furloughed 719 workers, according to the Boston Business Journal. The affected employees will be furloughed for at least 90 days to help the system deal with the drastic volume decrease from suspending elective procedures. In addition, 1,236 employees will have their hours and pay reduced, according to the report.

2. Citing financial uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare will furlough 500 workers. Affected employees are full-time staff not involved in clinical care. They will not receive pay, but will have health insurance.

3. Southbridge, Mass.-based Harrington Healthcare has furloughed 131 employees across its network this week, according to MassLive. About 20 of the 131 affected employees were “partially furloughed,” meaning their hours were significantly reduced, according to the report. Chris Canniff, the company’s vice president of administration and human resources, said the provider has seen a 50 percent decline in patient volume amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Furloughed employees will not be paid for four weeks.

4. Seattle-based Virginia Mason Medical Center said it has seen a 30 percent decline in revenue since the COVID-19 pandemic started and Gov. Jay Inslee ordered hospitals to suspend elective procedures. As a result, the system is furloughing an undisclosed number of employees, according to local station K5 News. Most of the affected employees are in nonclinical roles.

“We rely substantially on outpatient revenue to ensure our financial viability,” wrote medical center executives in an internal memo to Virginia Mason leaders obtained by K5 News. “This is an unprecedented time and it calls for drastic measures.”

5. Citing drastic revenue decreases and increased expenses, Columbus, Ohio-based Mount Carmel Health System will furlough nonclinical staff, according to ABC 6. The health system said fewer than 500 employees will be affected. The system employs more than 10,000. In addition to the furloughs, the health system is implementing pay cuts for executives and physicians, according to the report.

6. Atlantic City, N.J.-based AtlantiCare has furloughed some of its workers due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to NJ.com. In addition, the system has asked staff members, including nurses and physicians, to voluntarily take a furlough or a reduction in their hours, according to Press of Atlantic City. The staffing changes began taking place March 30. The changes are considered temporary, and affected employees will keep their benefits.

7. Citing a drop in patient revenue due to government mandates to help the COVID-19 pandemic, Dayton, Ohio-based Kettering Health Network is placing some of its employees on furlough, according to the Dayton Business Journal. 

8. New Bedford, Mass.-based Southcoast Health will furlough some staff not actively involved in patient care efforts because the health system is absorbing a deep revenue hit, according to Southcoast Today. The health system will pay a portion of furloughed employees’ insurance premiums through June 30.

April 2

1. Livonia, Mich.-based Trinity Health plans to furlough 2,500 employees. The system made the decision to help offset the financial hit from COVID-19. Most of the affected employees are in nonclinical roles.

2. Boston Medical Center is furloughing 700 staff members, or 10 percent of its workforce, due to financial losses from the COVID-19 pandemic. Kate Walsh, CEO of Boston Medical Center, told The Globe that the hospital has lost about $5 million in revenue per week, and that the furloughs will help save the system about $1 million per week.

3. Citing a revenue hit from the COVID-19 pandemic, Cincinnati-based Bon Secours Mercy Health will furlough 700 employees and freeze wages of all nonclinical personnel. The furloughs are expected to begin next week and last 30 to 90 days, depending on how long the pandemic lasts, according to Bon Secours Mercy Health CEO John Starcher. Bon Secours Mercy Health estimates it will see an operating loss of at least $100 million per month while the pandemic lasts.

4. Citing a severe disruption in services due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Duluth, Minn.-based Essentia Health has placed about 500 nonclinical staff on administrative leave.

5. Hartford-based Connecticut Children’s Medical Center is furloughing 400 employees across its system due to the expected financial hit from COVID-19, according to The Hartford Courant. The system said its patient volume has been cut in half due to halting elective procedures. Furloughed employees are mainly nonclinical workers, and are expected to return to work in early June, or when elective procedures can resume.

6. Clay County Medical Center, a 25-bed hospital in Clay Center, Kan., has furloughed 25 percent of its staff in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to The Clay Center Dispatch. It has about 300 employees, according to its website.

7. Williamson Medical Center in Franklin, Tenn., will temporarily furlough 200 employees to sustain its financial resources during the COVID-19 pandemic.

8. Dallas-based Steward Health Care is informing employees to expect furloughs at its facilities across the U.S. as the system works to overcome the “seismic shock” of the COVID-19 pandemic. The health system said it has started a temporary furlough program for some employees of its hospitals in nine states. Most affected staff work in nonclinical jobs.

9. Huntsville (Ala.) Hospital, faced with expenses and a loss of revenue due to the novel coronavirus, has implemented a cost reduction plan that includes furloughs, according to AL.com. Huntsville Hospital CEO David Spillers declined to share specifics about the number of staff members affected, but said the furloughs and cuts are mainly hospital contractors and support staff.

10. Syracuse, N.Y.-based St. Joseph Health plans to furlough an undisclosed number of workers as it prepares to deal with an “unprecedented fiscal fallout” from the COVID-19 pandemic, Syracuse.com reports. St. Joseph Health will also cut pay for senior management.

11. Baptist Health in Little Rock, Ark., has started furloughing an undisclosed number of employees this week to address an expected revenue loss from the pandemic.

12. Little Rock-based Arkansas Heart Hospital has furloughed workers due to the interruption of normal hospital operations.

March 27 to April 1

1. Citing the financial hit from the COVID-19 pandemic, Greenville, S.C.-based Prisma Health said it will furlough an undisclosed number of clinical, corporate and administrative workers.

2. Chattanooga, Tenn.-based Erlanger Health System said it is implementing a cost-reduction plan that includes furloughs and pay reductions for leadership. The moves were prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Administrative employees also are affected by the furlough.

3. Appalachian Regional Healthcare, a 13-hospital system in Lexington, Ky., will furlough about 500 employees due to a sharp reduction in business and revenue.  In addition to the financial aspect, Appalachian Regional said its decision was to protect employees not involved in direct patient care from contracting the novel virus and ensure that the health system has enough supplies to treat the anticipated surge of COVID-19 patients.

4. Cleveland-based St. Vincent Charity Medical Center has furloughed about 70 employees amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Affected employees include nurses, surgical assistants, clerical and other support staff.

5. Morehead, Ky.-based St. Claire HealthCare announced it will 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.

6. Astoria, Ore.-based Columbia Memorial Hospital has furloughed 90 of its 740 employees after the facility scaled back nonemergent procedures to concentrate on the coronavirus.

7. Citing the spreading and unforgiving demands of the COVID-19 pandemic, Canton, Ohio-based Mercy Medical Center has furloughed workers. The move came shortly after the state ordered hospitals to suspend elective surgeries and procedures to free up capacity and supplies to treat COVID-19 patients.The number of staff affected was not disclosed.

8. Meadville (Pa.) Medical Centehas furloughed more than 225 employees to ensure the hospital’s financial stability. The hospital said the furlough is expected to last through April 5, but warned an extension is possible if the pandemic continues to affect business operations and revenue.

9. To help the system survive the economic challenges linked to the COVID-19 pandemic, Rockford, Ill.-based Mercyhealth has furloughed an undisclosed number of employees who are not providing direct patient care.

10. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Lewisburg, Pa.-based Evangelical Community Hospital has furloughed a “significant” number of employees who are not involved in direct patient care.




State-by-state breakdown of 354 rural hospitals at high risk of closing


What Rural Hospital Closures Mean for EMS Professionals

Twenty-five percent of the 1,430 rural hospitals in the U.S. are at high risk of closing unless their finances improve, according to an annual analysis from Guidehouse, a consulting firm. 

The 354 rural hospitals at high risk of closing are spread across 40 states and represent more than 222,000 annual discharges. According to the analysis, 287 of these hospitals — 81 percent — are considered highly essential to the health and economic wellbeing of their communities.

Several factors are putting rural hospitals at risk of closing, according to the analysis, which looked at operating margin, days cash on hand, debt-to-capitalization ratio, current ratio and inpatient census to determine the financial viability of rural hospitals. Declining inpatient volume, clinician shortages, payer mix degradation and revenue cycle management challenges are among the factors driving the rural hospital crisis.

The Guidehouse study analyzed the financial viability of rural hospitals prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the authors noted that the rural hospital crisis could significantly worsen due to the pandemic or any downturn in the economy. 

Here are the number and percentage of rural hospitals at high risk of closing in each state based on the analysis:

Rural hospitals at high risk of closing: 19 (68 percent)

Rural hospitals at high risk of closing: 18 (60 percent)

Rural hospitals at high risk of closing: 28 (60 percent)

Rural hospitals at high risk of closing: 18 (53 percent)

Rural hospitals at high risk of closing: 25 (50 percent)

West Virginia
Rural hospitals at high risk of closing: 9 (50 percent)

South Carolina
Rural hospitals at high risk of closing: 4 (44 percent)

Rural hospitals at high risk of closing: 14 (41 percent)

Rural hospitals at high risk of closing: 18 (40 percent)

Rural hospitals at high risk of closing: 11 (37 percent)

Rural hospitals at high risk of closing: 7 (33 percent)

Rural hospitals at high risk of closing: 8 (31 percent)

Rural hospitals at high risk of closing: 26 (31 percent)

New Mexico
Rural hospitals at high risk of closing: 3 (30 percent)

Rural hospitals at high risk of closing: 13 (29 percent)

Rural hospitals at high risk of closing: 10 (26 percent)

Rural hospitals at high risk of closing: 5 (25 percent)

Rural hospitals at high risk of closing: 4 (24 percent)

Rural hospitals at high risk of closing: 6 (23 percent)

North Carolina
Rural hospitals at high risk of closing: 6 (23 percent)

Rural hospitals at high risk of closing: 2 (22 percent)

North Dakota
Rural hospitals at high risk of closing: 7 (21 percent)

Rural hospitals at high risk of closing: 6 (20 percent)

Rural hospitals at high risk of closing: 2 (20 percent)

Rural hospitals at high risk of closing: 4 (19 percent)

Rural hospitals at high risk of closing: 4 (19 percent)

Rural hospitals at high risk of closing: 5 (18 percent)

Rural hospitals at high risk of closing: 3 (18 percent)

Rural hospitals at high risk of closing: 14 (16 percent)

Rural hospitals at high risk of closing: 4 (14 percent)

Rural hospitals at high risk of closing: 7 (14 percent)

Rural hospitals at high risk of closing: 7 (14 percent)

Rural hospitals at high risk of closing: 8 (13 percent)

New York
Rural hospitals at high risk of closing: 4 (13 percent)

Rural hospitals at high risk of closing: 9 (12 percent)

Rural hospitals at high risk of closing: 8 (11 percent)

Rural hospitals at high risk of closing: 1 (10 percent)

Rural hospitals at high risk of closing: 1 (10 percent)

New Hampshire
Rural hospitals at high risk of closing: 1 (9 percent)

Rural hospitals at high risk of closing: 5 (9 percent)




Updated COVID-19 projections are out: The new peak dates in each state


COVID-19 state-by-state forecast | WCHS

Peak demand for hospital resources due to COVID-19 is expected this week in the U.S., according to updated projections from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation in Seattle. 

The model, first released in late March, presents estimates of predicted health service utilization and deaths due to COVID-19 for each state in the U.S. if social distancing measures are maintained through May. Researchers used state-level hospital capacity data, data on confirmed COVID-19 deaths from the World Health Organization, and observed COVID-19 utilization from select locations.

When IHME first released its model, the only place where the number of daily deaths had already peaked was Wuhan, China. The data from Wuhan formed the basis for IHME’s estimation of the time from implementation of social distancing policies to the peak day of deaths. That estimation is now based on data from Wuhan and seven locations in Spain and Italy where the number of daily deaths appears to be peaking or to have peaked. The model has also been updated to use three different weighting schemes to better approximate the variation in potential policy impact across social distancing mandates.

Projections for peak demand for resources, namely hospital beds and ventilators, also changed after IHME incorporated new data sources into its model and made changes to its analytical framework. Access more information about the changes here.

According to the most recent projections, which use data updated April 8, peak demand for hospital resources will occur at the national level on April 11. However, this varies by state. Below is the projected date of peak demand for hospital beds, ICU beds and ventilators in each state according to the IHME model. 

April 1

April 2

April 4

April 7

April 8
New York

April 9
District of Columbia

April 11
New Jersey

April 12

April 13

April 14

April 15
North Carolina
West Virginia

April 16
New Hampshire

April 17

April 20

April 21
New Mexico
North Dakota

April 22

April 23

April 24
South Carolina

April 25
Rhode Island

April 26

April 27
South Dakota

April 29



Pay Cuts, Furloughs, Redeployment for Doctors and Hospital Staff


Pay Cuts, Furloughs, Redeployment for Doctors and Hospital Staff ...

— Health systems see massive disruption from COVID-19

In Michigan, Trinity Health is furloughing 2,500 of its 24,000 employees. In Florida, Sarasota Memorial Health Care is taking “immediate steps to reduce costs, including temporary furloughs and reduced hours” for workers.

In less than 1 month, COVID-19 has made swift, deep cuts in hospital billings. Despite high volumes in the first 2 weeks, March revenue plunged by $16 million at Sarasota Memorial. Surgery cases fell by more than 50%, and volumes dropped by 45% at two emergency care centers and by 66% at seven urgent care centers.

Squeezed by plummeting income and climbing COVID-19 expenses, hospitals and health systems are bracing themselves for system-wide disruption by announcing temporary layoffs, reassignments, and pay cuts.

Many changes, like Trinity’s furloughs in Michigan, affect mainly non-clinical workers. Some alter compensation or duties for doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers.

“In all parts of the country, physicians are being asked to sign agreements or acknowledgments for pay cuts ranging from 20% to 75%, depending on what their specialty is, where they are, and what the institutions are doing,” said Scott Weavil, JD, a California lawyer who counsels physicians nationwide about employment contracts.

“Many of these providers are not on the front lines of COVID, but they are still working,” Weavil noted. “Babies are being born. People are having accidents and visiting emergency departments. Urgent surgeries are happening. Physicians are at work or on call and ready to help if needed. And in most of these environments, there are patients who have tested positive for COVID-19,” he told MedPage Today.

“Ob/gyns aren’t doing a lot of elective procedures like hysterectomies, but they are delivering babies for COVID-positive patients, wearing donated cloth masks that may or may not be effective,” Weavil added.

In some cases, doctors have been sidelined and face the prospect of dwindling income as patient volumes fall. “We have 2,600 physicians and advanced-practice providers,” said Mark Briesacher, MD, senior vice president and chief physician executive of Intermountain Healthcare in Salt Lake City. “About 800 of them are on a patient volume-related type of contract, similar to what you would have in private practice.”

Because non-urgent and elective procedures are being delayed, some of these clinicians now see 30% to 50% fewer patients and could face big income drops, Briesacher told MedPage Today. “But we’ve put a floor in place,” he said: these providers will receive their usual pay until May 30, then 85% of that amount until normal patient volumes resume.

Redeployment can help practitioners make up lost income, Briesacher added. “A general surgeon often has critical care training,” he noted. “When this increase in patient care needs due to COVID-19 does come to Utah, we can deploy that surgeon to work in our ICUs with a critical care doctor, and if they’re working fulltime, they’ll get paid the same as they were before.”

Reassignment does not stop with doctors at Intermountain: hospital nurses can be deployed to screening desks, drive-through testing sites, or telehealth centers and will keep their current rate of pay, spokesperson Daron Crowley said.

“I recently reviewed a COVID-19 compensation plan of a health system in Florida that would give physicians their base or draw, or a midpoint between their 2019 base and their 2019 overall compensation,” noted Weavil, the attorney. “That seemed pretty good, but it came at a cost: the physicians had to agree to practice outside of their normal setting, as long as they were credentialed for the work.”

“At first blush, the credentialing requirement sounded like a protection; if you are a psychiatrist, you’d think ‘they’re not going to send me to the ICU,’ and normally, that’s correct,” Weavil continued.

But hospitals are adopting emergency credentialing provisions during COVID-19 and “doctors can be forced to practice pretty far afield of their specialty,” he said. In some ways, the situation resembles residency, he pointed out: “You have an attending physician who knows what she’s doing directing fish-out-of-water physicians who have been conscripted into service beyond their specialties.”

The list of hospital systems announcing major changes — including pay cuts for hospital executives, as Trinity Health in Michigan has done — grows each day. Boston Medical Center Health System has furloughed 700 employees; Cincinnati-based Bon Secours Mercy Health has announced it will do the same. Kentucky’s Appalachian Regional Healthcare will furlough about 500 staff members. South Carolina’s Prisma Health will lay off an undisclosed number of clinical, corporate, and administrative workers. Tenet Healthcare in Dallas has furloughed 500 fulltime positions.

Furloughing staff “was an extremely difficult decision, and one that we did not make lightly,” Sarasota Memorial CEO David Verinder wrote in a letter to employees.

“Staff have gone above and beyond to care for our patients throughout this crisis, even as they have been anxious about the health and well-being of themselves and their families,” he continued. “But as the health care safety net for the region, we must do all we can to continue fulfilling that critical role in the weeks ahead and for the long-term.”




$100B federal hospital aid won’t fully compensate lost revenue, Moody’s says



The $2 trillion federal coronavirus aid package signed into law that includes $100 billion for nonprofit hospitals won’t completely cover the revenue hospitals will lose as a result of the pandemic, Moody’s Investors Service wrote in an April 3 note.

While the aid package includes several provisions like compensation for lost revenue, increased Medicare reimbursement and advances on future Medicare reimbursement, cash flow at nonprofit hospitals will still likely be materially lower for the next several months. Postponed services alone are likely to reduce hospital revenue by 25 percent to 40 percent a month on average, Moody’s said, a reduction that is affecting even hospitals that aren’t treating large COVID-19 case loads.

“The $100 billion aid package provides some relief to hospitals by supporting their operations and providing access to critical supplies,” Dan Steingart, vice president at Moody’s, said. “However, it is unlikely to fully compensate the sector for the two main financial challenges facing providers as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. The first is a material decline in revenue and cash flow as profitable elective surgeries, procedures and other services are postponed to preserve resources and avoid spreading the virus. The second is difficulty curbing expenses as surge preparation costs offset any expense reductions from postponed or canceled services.”

Moody’s maintained its negative outlook on nonprofit hospitals. 




Resilience, dedication, conviction: Hospital CEOs write thank-you notes to staff


Words of appreciation: Thank-you notes from 15 health system CEOs ...

Healthcare workers have been on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, providing care to ill patients and battling the public health crisis from various angles. In honor of these workers, Becker’s asked hospital and health system CEOs to share notes to their staff and team members.

Michael Apkon, MD, PhD
President and CEO
Tufts Medical Center & Floating Hospital for Children (Boston)

At Tufts Medical Center, we see some of the sickest people in Boston. Our teams routinely surround each of these patients with the extraordinary care and services they need to get well.

This pandemic is unprecedented.  I know our staff are balancing the concerns that we all have for our families and friends, our own health, as well as the changes to our lives outside of work at the same time they do everything they can to provide the level of care people have come to trust from our organization. I can tell you that over my 30 years in this industry, I have not seen more dedication, innovation and willingness to help than I have during these past few months, as we fight a largely unknown enemy.

I could not be more proud of our doctors, nurses, technologists, transporters, housekeepers, cooks, public safety officers and all others who have been vital to the care of all of our patients, including those with a COVID-19 diagnosis. I know that people are coming together across our industry in nearly every city and town. Many thanks to each of our team members and to the healthcare workers around our country as well as to their families, who have had to worry day after day about their loved one on the front lines. Please know your partners, mothers, fathers, sister, brother, sons or daughters have played a critical role in saving lives, and we are doing everything we can to keep them safe.

Marna Borgstrom
CEO Yale New Haven (Conn.) Health

During these unprecedented times I welcome the opportunity to reflect on all that our staff at Yale New Haven Health are doing for each other and for our communities. We have a team of more than 27,000 hardworking and talented people to care for communities in Connecticut, New York and Rhode Island. I am truly humbled and honored to work alongside these amazing individuals.

Our staff, like healthcare workers everywhere, are being tasked in seemingly conflicting ways during this pandemic. Not only are they continuing to do their jobs by caring for the sickest patients, but they are also managing extremely challenging issues at home. Children of all ages are home from school, some need to be home-schooled. Businesses are closed, impacting many spouses and other family members. Staff worry that they may not have an adequate amount of protective equipment and supplies while at work.

But Yale New Haven Health staff are strong, they are resilient and most of all they are caring. As we do everything in our power to keep our staff safe, they are doing everything in their power to care for very ill patients in a world where new information is coming in real time and changing rapidly. We all hope and pray that this pandemic will end soon, but until it does, we are all in this together. I have never been more proud to work with this this wonderful Yale New Haven Health team.

Audrey Gregory, PhD, RN
CEO of the Detroit Medical Center

We know that the current situation around COVID-19 is unnerving, and as things continue to change rapidly every day, it can also be overwhelming.

I want to take this opportunity to thank all the front-line staff at every level in our organization and at healthcare facilities all across the country.

I also would like to say thank you to all of the providers, including residents, fellows and advanced practice providers. I recognize the commitment that you have to provide care to our patients. Not only do I want to acknowledge that, I never want to take that for granted. As healthcare workers, this is the time that we courageously stay on the front lines.

Please be safe and do your part to protect each other. If you have any flu-like symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat, body aches or shortness of breath, please stay home. I know that as healthcare workers we have a tendency to ignore symptoms, and work through them, so that we do not let the team down. This is the time that I implore you not to do so.

Thank you for your commitment and dedication to the patients and families that depend on us during this challenging time.

R. Guy Hudson, MD
CEO of Swedish Health Services (Seattle)

As we come together to fight this unprecedented pandemic, I am continually impressed by the resilience, professionalism and dedication of our community’s healthcare workers, first responders and other providers of essential services. Without their selfless commitment to serving others, we would not be able to weather this crisis.

Though we have yet to see the full costs that COVID-19 will exact on our region, I am confident that our community will continue to come together, support each other and manage through this situation with resolve.

I am grateful to the community’s outpouring of support for healthcare providers on the front lines, including the 13,000 dedicated caregivers at Swedish. It is often in times of crisis that our humanity, resilience and compassion shine brightest.

The pandemic poses the greatest risk to the most vulnerable members of our community. There are hundreds of nonprofits and other organizations that are doing heroic work to help our neighbors who struggle with mental illness, housing instability, food insecurity and other challenges. Their efforts are more critical than ever and need our support.

In this unchartered territory, I find strength in the dedication and conviction of the caregivers I have the privilege to work alongside. Providing care to our community in a time like this is exactly why we chose careers in healthcare. In the face of this pandemic, we will continue to serve the needs of our community, and we will not waver in our commitment to our patients.

To all our Swedish caregivers: I am proud to work with you.

Alan Kaplan, MD
CEO of UW Health (Madison, Wis.)

We find ourselves in an unprecedented time. We are preparing for a global pandemic, an insidious virus, that is already at our doorstep. To do this, the physicians and staff at UW Health are adjusting every aspect of our standard service to care for those who need us now, to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to save as many lives as possible.

Despite these dire circumstances, I remain optimistic and proud. The faculty and staff at UW Health, from our diligent technicians to our expert physicians and nurses, are all working incredibly hard to ensure we are doing everything in our power to care for the communities we serve. Your early actions and quick flexibility gave our health system the best chance to manage this crisis. I am especially impressed by the ongoing collaboration, because it shows how much we are capable of accomplishing together. This work is highly valued and deeply appreciated, both within our walls and beyond.

I know this is a trying time for everyone in our organization and so many others around the world. Much of our specialty care has been put on hold, clinics have closed, and regular schedules are nonexistent. I appreciate the long hours and commitment it takes to serve patients and the public good in a time like this. For those on the frontlines of COVID-19, know that our entire organization and our community are proud of the work you are doing.

Finally, I hope you all do what you can to stay healthy, refresh and take time for yourself and to be with loved ones however possible during this new and challenging time. Thank you for everything you do. You are a daily inspiration.

Sarah Krevans
President and CEO of Sutter Health (Sacramento, Calif.)

The healthcare profession attracts those who want to make a difference in the lives of others. They all have a higher calling and always rise to the challenges in front of them. This happens every day, but it’s very apparent during this time in our history. There is no part of our organization that is untouched by this public health emergency. And yet, our teams stand tall. They don’t back down. From front-line health workers, to food and nutrition services staff, to information services personnel — they are committed to keeping our communities safe. Words will never be able to adequately thank them for their dedication, their perseverance and their heart, but all of us across our organization are forever grateful.

Jody Lomeo
President and CEO of Kaleida Health (Buffalo, N.Y.)

As we face these historic and challenging times, it is vitally important that we come together and stick together as a community. It’s just as important that we remain unified as the Kaleida Health family.

That said, let me thank everyone for their incredible dedication and teamwork this past week.

This is an unprecedented issue for healthcare providers to have to deal with; yet the response by the organization as a whole is what we have come to expect: nothing short of remarkable and solely focused on taking care of our community.

On behalf of a grateful community, the board of directors and the Kaleida Health leadership team, we thank you all for your incredible dedication these past few weeks. I have said it numerous times this week: You are the true heroes of this pandemic. And while our way of life has been forever changed, one constant that remains the same: the outstanding work that is done by the Kaleida Health team!

A special note of gratitude goes out to all of those who have volunteered to care for COVID-19 patients within their respective hospitals and across the Kaleida Health system. We could not do this without you!

In closing, thanks again. Stay healthy, stay safe.

We remain #KaleidaStrong.

Elizabeth Nabel, MD
President of Brigham Health (Boston)

We face an unprecedented challenge — possibly the greatest we will ever experience in our careers, maybe even our lifetimes. I am inspired by the indomitable dedication, courage and innovative spirit of our medical and scientific community as we navigate through these most trying events. From providers working on the front lines of patient care to investigators racing to discover an effective treatment for COVID-19, we are surrounded by countless demonstrations of commitment, collaboration and compassion. We will get through this together and come out on the other side stronger than ever.





‘We are not immune’: Henry Ford Health says 734 employees positive for COVID-19


Detroit hospital: More than 600 employees tested positive for ...

More than 700 employees of Detroit-based Henry Ford Health System have tested positive for COVID-19, the health system confirmed to Becker’s.

Adnan Munkarah, MD, executive vice president and chief clinical officer, said Henry Ford has tested nearly 2,500 employees since tracking began March 12, and the majority have tested negative. However, as of April 6, 734 employees, or 2.1 percent of the health system’s workforce, have tested positive. Positive cases include employees not working directly on the front lines or those who contracted the virus in the community.

In announcing the update, Dr. Munkarah pointed to the health system’s strict adherence to the use of personal protective equipment during the pandemic, as well as other measures that have been put in place to protect employees and patients. Those measures include a universal mask policy for employees and visitors and the prioritization of testing for employees exhibiting even mild symptoms.

“As a health system caring for a large majority of our region’s COVID-19 patients, we know we are not immune to potential exposure and we remain grateful for the courage and dedication of our entire team,” said Dr. Munkarah.

Michigan is one of the states hardest hit by the pandemic. As of 7:25 a.m. CDT April 7, there were 17,221 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state.