Executives take pay cut at New Mexico hospital

Leaders at University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque have taken a pay cut as part of efforts to improve the organization's financial picture. 

UNM Health System spokesperson Chris Ramirez told Becker's the 5 percent pay decrease applies to chiefs, associate chiefs and executive directors. It took effect in April and will continue through next fiscal year, which ends on June 30, 2024. 

"About January, it became evident we're going into fiscal year 2024 in July with a deficit," said Mr. Ramirez, adding that the hospital experienced high contract labor costs and a respiratory virus surge last fall. As of the end of May, UNM Hospital's operating margin was negative $27 million.

"With compounded layers of fiscal issues, our leadership understood they had to begin making cuts in all kinds of different ways," said Mr. Ramirez. 

He said the pay cut for leadership was also a way to ensure no pay cuts for front-line staff. UNM Hospital's fiscal year 2024 budget does not include any pay decreases for front-line staff, but it also does not include pay increases. Mr. Ramirez said UNM Hospital leadership has also reduced contract labor costs (which includes travel nurses), not filled some vacant positions, and continues to closely manage overtime costs.   

"We know this is not news anyone wants to hear," a statement from the hospital says. "As a public health system, we have an important and mandatory obligation to our community to be good stewards of public dollars and to continue delivering critical healthcare for New Mexicans.  While these decisions are always difficult, UNM Hospital leaders strongly believe these moves are vital to honoring those important commitments."

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