OVERHYPED? Dozens of Hospitals Across the US Lay Off Workers Due to Lack of Capacity
Hospitals around the country are laying off workers due to lack of capacity even though many experts predict that the worst of the coronavirus pandemic is still to come.
Becker’s Hospital Review compiled a list of 94 hospitals that have instituted layoffs thus far across the U.S. amidst the coronavirus pandemic. The industry claims this is happening because demand for elective surgeries is down and that has dried up hospital revenue substantially.
“Many U.S. hospitals and health systems have suspended elective procedures to save capacity, supplies and staff to treat COVID-19 patients,” they wrote in their review. “As a result of suspending these nonemergent procedures, several systems have lost or expect to lose a large chunk of their annual revenue, forcing them to make cost reduction a top priority.”
Some recent examples include the Detroit Medical Center (DMC) announcing that they are laying off over 60 couriers, lab assistants, and patient support staff workers. The DMC said that 27 employees would be laid off from the Children’s Hospital with the other 38 workers losing their jobs from the rest of their Detroit campus.
“Business has slowed a lot because a lot of doctor’s offices aren’t open, which is kind of strange because we’re in a pandemic,” a courier told Bridge Michigan.
Kalispell hospital announced a series of layoffs and pay cuts that will affect approximately 600 workers in Helena, Mont. They also claim the layoffs are only temporary and will be eager to bring back members of the workforce displaced by the pandemic.
“I am confident that we will ramp back up quickly once it is safe to do so,” Lambrecht said. “It is my hope that everyone can weather this uncertain time and emerge safe and well.”
The North Carolina Nurses Association found out through their survey of 400 nurses across the state that staff hours have been cut, widespread “temporary” layoffs have been instituted, and staffers have been told to take their paid time off to make up for the losses.
“It’s definitely not the situation you might think would happen during a pandemic,” said North Carolina Nurses Association CEO Tina Gordon.
East Texas hospitals are furloughing workers and reducing the hours for employees as well. UT Health East Texas and CHRISTUS Health say that the coronavirus panic is causing far fewer non-coronavirus patients and killing their business.
“I think every system across the country is having to look at what they have to do to continue to provide care and services in this rather challenging environment,” said Dr. Tom Cummins, Chief Medical Officer of UT Health East Texas, during a Thursday news conference.
With the coronavirus pandemic not living up to the media hype quiet yet, the health care industry has been rocked like every other sector. The damage to the U.S. economy is rapidly compounding as the lock down continues.