9 hospitals furloughing staff in response to COVID-19

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

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. 

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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