Following the trend of hospitals having to cut costs amid a downturn in income, Abbeville Area Medical Center announced temporary unpaid employee furloughs and reduction in work hours.
Since the state government requested hospitals put a stop to all elective procedures, hospitals have seen a slump in the number of patients coming in while preparing for a possible surge of COVID-19 cases.
“Elective surgeries, inpatient and outpatient services such as imaging, lab and therapy services as well as physician office visits have dramatically decreased, causing a significant loss of revenue,” said Meg Davis, director of marketing, foundation and volunteer services at AAMC.
As such, the hospital announced that about 75 employees will be affected by the employment changes. Hospital, physician practice and home health staff, both clinical and non-clinical, are affected. Some are seeing reductions in hours, while others are on unpaid furloughs.
The hope, Davis said in her emailed statement, is that the furloughs might only last up to two months.
“Like many hospital systems across the state and nation, the COVID-19 pandemic has created financial challenges for Abbeville Area Medical Center,” said CEO Dean Turner in the email. “This was a difficult decision but one that was necessary not only to ensure that our hospital can continue to serve patients, but also to ensure that our employees have jobs to come back to in the next six to eight weeks, if not sooner.”
The announcement came alongside Self Regional Healthcare’s decision to furlough 650 people and have 160 leaders in the hospital system take unpaid time off. Self President and CEO Jim Pfeiffer cited a similar financial slump — income being down about 35% compared to before the coronavirus pandemic began affecting the area.