During a Pandemic, an Unanticipated Problem: Out-of-Work Health Workers

Governors in dozens of states have delivered executive orders or guidelines directing hospitals to stop nonurgent procedures and surgeries to various degrees. Last month, the United States surgeon general, Dr. Jerome M. Adams, also implored hospitals to halt elective procedures.

That has left many health systems struggling to survive.

Next week, Mr. Morreale said, Oneida will announce that it is putting 25 percent to 30 percent of its employees on involuntary furlough. They will have access to their health insurance through June. Physicians and senior staff at the hospital have taken a 20 percent pay cut.

“We’ve been here 121 years, and I’m hoping we’re still there on the other side of this,” Mr. Morreale said.

Appalachian Regional Healthcare, a 13-hospital system in eastern Kentucky and southern West Virginia, has seen a 30 percent decrease in its overall business because of a decline in patient volume and services related to the pandemic. Last week, the hospital system announced it would furlough about 8 percent of its work force — around 500 employees.

Hospital executives across the country are cutting pay while also trying to repurpose employees for other jobs.

At Intermountain Healthcare, which operates 215 clinics and 24 hospitals in Utah, Idaho and Nevada, about 600 of the 2,600 physicians, physicians assistants and registered nurses who are compensated based on volume will see their pay dip by about 15 percent, but many will be able to supplement by deploying to other areas, said Daron Cowley, a company spokesman.

Those reductions are tied to the drop in procedures, which has fallen significantly for some specialties, he said. The organization is working to preserve employment as much as possible, in part by trying to deploy 3,000 staff members into new roles.

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/03/us/politics/coronavirus-health-care-workers-layoffs.html

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

five × 1 =