CHILLICOTHE, OH (WOWK) – Adena Healthcare System says it is planning to implement temporary furloughs to remain a viable health care organization during the pandemic. The organization says these furloughs will include nonclinical employees and other caregivers who are not providing direct frontline care of patients. Nearly one-third of Adena’s workforce of more than 3,000 are being impacted by some measure of cost savings; this includes the approximately 500 individuals who will be temporarily furloughed.
“This is a temporary furlough, not a layoff, meaning caregivers will be able to return to their current position and will keep their health benefits throughout the period in which they are on furlough,” Adena Health System President and CEO Jeff Graham says. “Individuals are also eligible for unemployment compensation benefits through the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. Any employee impacted by a furlough during this time is not losing their job and they will return to Adena as quickly as we get through this pandemic and we stabilize as an organization. I want to be clear that Adena will maintain full support of our frontline positions, and this will not impact those areas that provide direct patient care.”
Graham praised Adena’s more than 3,000 caregivers for their work in response to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic. He explained the financial challenges associated with providing care during the pandemic, along with the difficult decisions needed to keep the health system viable during the current health crisis and moving forward.
“I cannot begin to describe the pride and confidence I feel for every caregiver, and their contributions to the health and well-being of our patients, especially during this time,” Graham says. “The passion each Adena caregiver puts into their work, and the talents displayed – either through direct patient care or in contributions related to System operations – makes difficult decisions like those we are facing that much harder.”
Graham says these decisions are based on projections showing Adena facing a deficit of more than $50 million through 2020 at current spending costs. The significant impact of lower operating revenues due to drastic reductions associated with the Ohio’s order to stop all elective surgeries and procedures, along with overall volume decline in Emergency Department hospital admissions, Urgent Care visits, and normal, everyday hospital census have all played a factor in the projections, according to the healthcare system.
Unplanned expenditures around caring for patients presenting with COVID-19 symptoms and patients who test positive for the virus have also contributed to financial challenges, Adena says. Similar factors are resulting in reduced income for nearly all U.S. hospitals and health systems, which are also making difficult financial decisions.
“Adena has a responsibility to provide quality health care to the more than 400,000 people we are privileged to serve, living in our nine-country service region,” Graham said. “Making sure Adena remains a strong and vibrant health care organization is needed to ensure we are here for our communities who depend on us in their time of need. Assuring Adena is here for our caregivers and our patients requires making some difficult decisions. Despite our challenges, I look toward Adena’s future with optimism. Amongst all this uncertainly, we are focused on getting our caregivers, patients, and communities through this crisis, so that all emerge fit and ready to face the future together.”