10 hospitals furloughing workers due to COVID-19: April 7

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. 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. 

To read a list of hospitals furloughing staff from April 6, click here. 

More articles on healthcare finance:

Bon Secours Mercy Health to furlough 700, estimates $100M monthly operating loss
Steward Health Care: 'We are experiencing a seismic shock' from COVID-19
Nonprofit hospitals vulnerable to coronavirus-related market fallout, Fitch says

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