Despite $7.9 million in COVID-19 relief aid from the federal government, Adena Health System will have to furlough 500 employees due to a projected $50 million deficit for 2020.
Adena Health System President and CEO Jeff Graham today praised Adena’s more than 3,000 caregivers for their work in response to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic. Graham went on to explain the financial challenges associated with providing care during these unprecedented times; along with the difficult decisions having to be made to keep the Health System strong and 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,” said Graham. “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 continued, “Adena, like many health systems or hospitals across the country, is managing through the ever-changing circumstances related to COVID-19. As a result, organizations, like Adena, cannot sustain maintaining current spending without suffering serious long-term financial repercussions. Our projections show Adena will face a deficit of more than $50 million through 2020. Therefore difficult decisions are needed, while making reductions to cause the least disruption for our patients and frontline caregivers.”
Factors identified in calculating Adena’s financial projections include the significant impact of lower operating revenues due to drastic reductions associated with the State’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. Additionally, 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. Similar factors are resulting in reduced income for nearly all U.S. hospitals and health systems, which are also making difficult financial decisions.
To mitigate its financial deficit, Adena is taking steps to reduce expenses. However, this alone is not enough to ensure the Health System can emerge from the pandemic in a financially stable position.
“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.”
To remain a viable health care organization, Adena is planning to implement temporary furloughs of nonclinical employees, and other caregivers who are not providing direct frontline care of patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. 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,” Graham emphasized.“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 closed, “Despite our challenges, I look toward Adena’s future with optimism. I have sincere gratitude for our incredible caregivers, and from the outpouring of support by people in the communities we serve. We are humbled by the response from our communities and thankful for the many prayers and expressions of appreciation for Adena’s health care heroes. Among 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.”