Henry Ford Health to furlough 2,800 workers

Financial damage from the COVID-19 pandemic is forcing Detroit-based Henry Ford Health System to furlough 2,800 workers, the health system announced April 22. 

The six-hospital system decided to furlough employees who are not directly involved in patient care after recording a $43 million loss in operating income in March due to the cancellation of elective procedures, temporary site closures, and expenses related to personal protective equipment and other supplies needed to care for COVID-19 patients. The health system expects more significant losses in April and May. 

"I know that news concerning furloughs is painful — especially for an organization like ours, whose greatest strength has always been our people," Henry Ford President and CEO Wright Lassiter III wrote in an email to employees. "We value each team member’s unique contribution and this decision does not change that. But, we must face these realities head on."

In addition to the furloughs, the health system's executives and senior leaders will begin contributing 10 percent to 25 percent of their salaries to funds created to support employees. 

Henry Ford Health reported a net operating loss of $36.2 million for the first three months of this year, compared to operating income of $39.4 million in the same period of 2019. 

More articles on healthcare finance:
HHS unveils plan to deliver $40B in COVID-19 aid to hospitals
CMS lifts freestanding ER billing restrictions during pandemic
Tower Health furloughs 1,000 workers amid dramatic revenue drop

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