Mercy Health laying off 700 employees during COVID-19 pandemic

Coronavirus

This affects about 1% of the hospital system's 60,000 employees

Mercy Health, St. Elizabeth's Hospital.

WKBN

(WKBN) – Mercy Health said about 700 employees will be temporarily furloughed across the whole system of about 60,000 total employees.

Others will be reassigned and redeployed as needed.

Mercy Health is also implementing a hiring freeze, mainly among administrative positions.

Also, non-clinical care wage increases are frozen.

Mercy Health would not say which employees would see pay cuts.

The health system released the following statement Thursday:

We do not discuss specific details of our compensation models publicly; however, it is important to understand we are shifting to meet the changing needs of our patients and providers.

In accordance with mandatory practices put in place by Governor DeWine, we have transitioned our care model to virtual care where clinically appropriate, and have limited our office-based care to that which is essential. We are now offering e-visits, video visits, etc. We have seen a 5000% increase year over year in virtual visits along. This transition helps us conserve and route PPE to specific sites that are in the greatest need and also allows our providers to continue to care for the thousands of patients who have trusted their health care to us. We are also redeploying caregivers to ensure we have the expertise necessary to care for each patient who comes through our doors.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused an unprecedented demand for health care services, and we’ve redeployed caregivers and others to meet our community needs. Simultaneously, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused an unprecedented decline in services and other work within our ministry. With elective procedures and services canceled and unanticipated expenditures being directed to COVID-19 response activities, we’re facing hard decisions over the short term. Our resources – people, supplies and finances – must be dedicated specifically to responding to COVID-19. For that reason, we took three key steps on Tuesday.

First, we’re implementing a hiring freeze which will predominantly impact shared services (administrative functions that support clinical care). Second, non-clinical care wage increases are frozen, effective immediately for the same group of associates. Third, shared services associates who are not directly supporting COVID-19 response activities will be placed on furlough, a temporary layoff from work. This impacts approximately 700 associates across our ministry. It’s important to note that this is about 1% of our more than 60,000 associates.

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