Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare has announced measures it is taking to address financial challenges created by the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic.
This public health crisis has created a ripple effect across all segments of the economy in ways most of us have never seen according to Michael Ugwueke, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare CEO. Methodist, like other health care systems in the Mid-South and around the country, has seen a significant decline in revenues as a result of a more than 40 percent decline in patient volumes related to the closure of nonessential services and the mandated cancellation of non-emergency procedures to prepare for COVID patients.
To minimize the impact on its employees, the organization is taking a number of steps to reduce its expenses, including lowering senior executive pay by 20 percent, and making staffing adjustments through a combination of reduced work hours, use of PTO, and voluntary and involuntary furloughs. MLH will cover all health plan premiums for any Associate who is out on furlough. The changes will not affect the safety and quality of patient care.
Ugwueke said they are committed to fairness, consistency and shared sacrifice by:
- Focusing first on reassigning Associates to other departments, facilities or roles.
- Reducing overtime and agency staffing, and eliminating open positions where possible.
- Those actions are ongoing, but as the pandemic has extended from weeks to months, MLH leaders finally had to consider making adjustments that would affect work schedules more broadly across the organization.
These measures are temporary. MLH will continue to monitor the situation and adjust its organization as needed. As always, providing high quality patient care and protecting the safety of patients, Associates and providers remains Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare's top priority.