How Bon Secours Mercy Health adjusted its workforce amid the pandemic

Cincinnati-based Bon Secours Mercy Health — which has 60,000 employees in seven U.S. states and Ireland — has furloughed, laid off and redeployed staff to help offset financial challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The COVID-19 crisis became a tipping point to accelerate considerations, [such as the opportunity for more virtual visits], that were already underway to help us better serve our patients and communities well into the future," the health system said in an email to Becker's. "During COVID-19, many associates have worked long hours to care for patients (e.g, ICU, critical care, respiratory, COVID-19 clinics). COVID-19 also caused an unprecedented decline in services due to temporary closure, cancellation and low census in primary care, outpatient and surgical services."

Given all these factors, Bon Secours redeployed more than 14,000 employees to areas of need throughout their individual markets and the ministry, and it furloughed about 3,400 over five months.  

The health system said its charitable foundation provided $60 million for an employee hardship fund, which allowed for "restorative pay" that covered lost wages and helped with child and elder care, as well as other expenses, for more than 18,000 workers, including furloughed employees. 

Layoffs totaled less than 400 employees in all its markets, less than 0.5 percent of Bon Secours' workforce, the health system said. 

Bon Secours said it continues to hire for positions needed to serve patients in critical care, respiratory care and laboratory services.

 

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