University of Rochester Medical Center furloughs 3,400 workers

University of Rochester (N.Y.) Medical Center is furloughing 3,474 employees, more than 19 percent of its 17,885-person workforce. 

The medical center said May 8 that temporary workforce reductions are necessary after exhausting other cost-saving alternatives. Though some clinical employees are being furloughed, it said all open facilities are fully staffed. 

In mid-April, the medical center faced a $500 million budget gap for the current fiscal year it attributed to declining revenue and higher costs linked to preparation for a surge of COVID-19 patients. After taking several steps to reduce the gap, including eliminating pay increases and delaying capital spending, the medical center projected a deficit of $315 million. 

It will furlough 1,517 workers at 886-bed Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, or about 13 percent of the hospital's staff. The medical center also is furloughing staff at its school of medicine and dentistry, school of nursing, University of Rochester Medical Faculty Group, Eastman Institute for Oral Health and in its health sciences division, which provides administrative support for the medical center's clinical and academic enterprise. 

Of those furloughed, 19 percent are "full furloughs" and 81 are "partial furloughs," the medical center said. Full furlough means an employee does not work at all until the furlough ends, while partial furlough means an employee works fewer hours. 

"URMC is intensely proud of the courage, dedication, and ingenuity employees across our institution have shown in helping our community and region respond to the COVID-19 pandemic," said Mark B. Taubman, MD, CEO of the medical center. "That makes it all the more painful to tell employees that despite austerity measures already in place, furloughs will be needed to restore financial stability during a period of unprecedented financial challenges."

More articles on healthcare finance:
How CHS, Tenet, HCA and UHS fared in Q1
HHS doling out $22B to COVID-19 hotspots, rural hospitals
US hospitals losing $1.4B in revenue per day

© Copyright ASC COMMUNICATIONS 2020. Interested in LINKING to or REPRINTING this content? View our policies by clicking here.