10 hospitals furloughing staff in response to COVID-19

Alia Paavola - Print  | 

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 are 10 hospitals that have furloughed staff in an effort to remain financially stable:

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 Center has 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.

More articles on healthcare finance: 
Hospitalization charges for COVID-19 patients could top $1.4 trillion
Mission Health sends refunds to patients affected by billing change
9 health systems suspending billing for COVID-19 testing, treatment

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