Iowa hospital suspends 3 benefit programs amid bankruptcy proceedings

Mercy Iowa City has expanded an existing employee benefit and temporarily suspended three other benefit programs as it navigates its bankruptcy process. 

In a statement shared with Becker's Sept. 5, the 234-bed, financially troubled hospital said its employee assistance program expanded to provide on-site and in-person support services by trained counselors. The benefit, which is designed to help employees experiencing mental health challenges, remains available to workers at no personal cost.     

Temporarily suspended programs include service awards (an Awardco corporate program), the temporary assistance program, and wellness assessments, Mercy Iowa City said. Flu shots, part of the wellness program, continue to be offered to workers. 

The changes come as Mercy Iowa City is going through bankruptcy. The hospital filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Aug. 7. The filing references a letter of intent between Mercy Iowa City and the state of Iowa that outlines the plan to transition the hospital to join University of Iowa Health Care. The affiliation must be approved by the university board of regents, the state of Iowa and the bankruptcy court. 

"The hope is that Mercy's new partner will see these [benefit] programs' values and reinstate or increase benefits with better programs," the hospital said.

Mercy Iowa City has more than 1,000 employed physicians and employees, or about 850 full-time equivalents. 

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