Appalachian Regional Healthcare, a 13-hospital system in Lexington, Ky., will furlough 500 employees, about 8% of its workforce, in an effort to stem the impact of lost revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the system has announced.
Earlier this week, St. Claire HealthCare in Morehead, Ky. announced that it will furlough 300 employees who are not involved in direct patient care to maintain its financial security.
Sonya Bergman, the system's vice president of human resources, said the cuts were temporary and were an effort to protect employees not involved in direct patient care from contracting COVID-19 and to ensure the system had enough supplies to treat patients with the disease. The system, which serves patients in eastern Kentucky and southern West Virgina, employs about 6,000 people. Some clinics and outpatient services will temporarily be closed as a result of dealing with the pandemic.
Earlier this month, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear ordered all hospitals in the state to suspend elective procedures. The system reported that as a result, its seen a 30% drop in business, according to a press release.
"When it is safe for our employees to resume work as normal and patient volumes return, we plan to restore services and bring these employees back," Bergman said, adding that staff will keep their insurance during the furlough.
St. Clare's furloughs impact about 25% of the hospital's workforce and took place March 26. Other remaining staff will experience a reduction in hours.
"We realize that our actions will have a tremendous impact on our staff and our community," said Donald Lloyd II, St. Clare HealthCare's president and CEO, adding that these are "unprecedented times."
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