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MVHS Announces Four-Month COVID-19 Recovery Plan

UTICA, N.Y. – The Mohawk Valley Health System (MVHS) today announced its COVID-19 Recovery Plan. The plan is outlined below.

Summary

MVHS, like other hospitals and health systems across the country, is experiencing devastating financial losses ($5 million each week) due to investments made in expanding capacity for a potential surge of COVID-19 patients while simultaneously suspending lucrative elective surgeries and procedures (as mandated by Governor Cuomo) and seeing a drop of more than 50 percent in volume for services across the entire health system.

We now see our future in three phases. First, we are seeking additional federal financial relief and support to cover the huge costs we incurred to expand our capacity to be prepared for a surge of patients. And, hopefully, some consideration for the loss of volume. We are grateful for the funds from the federal stimulus package, but far more will still be necessary.

The next phase, which we are now working toward, is recovery with a four-month COVID-19 Recovery Plan, which is summarized below. And, then finally, we will enter the rebuilding phase from this pandemic which will likely take a few years.

Goal of Four-Month COVID-19 Recovery Plan

This four-month recovery plan is designed to address financial losses associated with the COVID-19 pandemic while also ramping up plans for reopening our services, with the target goal of being back at 80 percent of our volumes by the end of summer 2020.

Details of Plan

Cost Saving Initiatives implemented on Friday, April 17, 2020

  • 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, 2020

NOTE: We are 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 today’s 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.

 

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Media Contact: 
Caitlin McCann
VP, Communications and Marketing
315-624-5433
cmccann@mvhealthsystem.org