None of Intermountain Healthcare's 41,000 employees has received a pay cut or been furloughed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Dr. Marc Harrison, CEO of Salt Lake City-based health system.
Employed clinicians who are normally paid based on productivity could face pay reductions as their workloads decrease, but the system is working to minimize those reductions, Harrison said.
Like other health systems, Intermountain has postponed elective and non-urgent procedures to conserve personal protective gear and other resources in case of a surge of coronavirus patients. Some clinicians and other workers have much less work to do as a result.
Hospitals and other healthcare providers across the nation have furloughed workers without pay or cut their compensation to cope with the reduction in revenue from patient visits. But Harrison said Intermountain is doing what it can to ensure employees remain financially stable.
"Intermountain has a well-earned and deserved reputation for being very fiscally responsible and really paying close attention to our reserves," Harrison said. "Those reserves are there for a reason and it's times like this, so we can continue to serve people without regard for their ability to pay and so we can keep our workforce stable."
Not-for-profit Intermountain reported $1.1 billion in net income in 2019 on revenue of $6.9 billion. Its net assets totaled $7.96 billion, while its cash and equivalents totaled $290 million. Harrison did not provide estimates of the pandemic's effects on Intermountain's revenue.
He said the health system has shifted about 4,000 workers to new roles, and those who've been redeployed will maintain their regular pay rates. For those employees who aren't physicians or advanced practice clinicians, Intermountain gave them credit for 160 hours' worth of paid "administrative time" that they can tap into when there's no work. Employees can also run up a negative balance of paid time off hours.
About 800 of the 2,600 employed doctors and advance practice clinicians in Intermountain's medical group, meanwhile, are paid based on how busy they are. With patient volumes declining, about 600 of them would have faced severe reductions in their pay because of a lack of work.
Harrison said the medical group management implemented a plan to minimize the risk to those clinicians so that while their pay may decrease in June, it "will decrease a lot less than it would have based on their contract."
Dr. Mark Briesacher, Intermountain's senior vice president and chief physician executive, announced some of the changes in a video last week.
The medical group employees who have less work to do than normal will also be able to serve patients through telehealth or be temporarily reassigned to other roles in the health system.
"Our intent is to have people be as protected as they can be while threading the needle between remaining fiscally stable as an overall organization and helping our people," Harrison said.