UTICA, N.Y. – After announcing they will be furloughing 20% of employees for four months, Mohawk Valley Health System has released it’s recovery plan for that time period.
The MVHS COVID-19 Recovery Plan was created to address financial losses incurred during the coronavirus pandemic, and outline actions to reopen services and restore patient volume.
According to MVHS, they are losing around $5 million each week by stopping elective surgeries and making preparations for a projected surge in coronavirus patients.
MVHS has planned three phases to move forward: fist seeking federal aid, then recovery and finally, rebuilding.
MVHS received funding in the federal stimulus, but officials say they will need far more to offset their losses.
The Four-Month COVID-19 Recovery Plan is part of the second phase.
See the plan details below:
- Cost Saving Initiatives implemented on Friday, April 17
- Salary reductions for MVHS leadership and employed providers
- Centralized control of overtime, with all overtime needing approval by MVHS chief operating officer or chief financial officer
- Hiring freeze in place
- Freeze on new tuition reimbursement. MVHS will pay for the semester tuition that had already been committed
- Examining every expense and cost center to determine areas of opportunity (e.g., contracts, potential discounts, memberships, travel, events)
- Freeze on merit increases for the duration of the furlough.
- Four-month employee furlough implemented as of Wednesday, April 22
- NOTE: MVHS is negotiating with CWA and UFCW and hopefully we will reach an agreement to adopt our furlough proposal. Unfortunately, NYSNA has rejected our furlough proposal, so we are forced to implement the layoff provisions in the collective bargaining agreement.
- A furlough means:
- MVHS employees remain employees of the organization and are not terminated. As volumes increase we anticipate calling our furloughed employees back to work as the need arises.
- Furlough begins on Wednesday, April 22 and ends Thursday, August 13, 2020. But, as noted, employees may be called back sooner based on patient demand.
- Employees who are furloughed can apply for unemployment insurance and the enhanced unemployment funds from the federal government.
- Employees will retain the employer contribution to their health insurance coverage.
- The number of full time employees (FTE) to be furloughed in each department is based on current volume in that area and overall volumes at MVHS.
- We are planning to suspend employer contributions to the 401(k)/403(b) for both furloughed employees and those still working.
- Employees may call the MVHS HR Hotline for questions in regard to filing for Unemployment and using healthcare benefits. Also financial counseling, planning and assistance are available through the MVHS Employee Assistance Program.
Other actions being taken:
- Suspending the following services:
- On-site urgent care visits. Telehealth visits will be available
- Reviewing other opportunities for temporarily suspending services
- Reviewing and renegotiating service contracts
- Reviewing and negotiating costs savings opportunities with medical staff
- Eliminating all discretionary spending and deferring capital acquisitions