MANCHESTER — Plans to furlough 650 employees and cut the pay or hours of another 750 will affect nearly 20 percent of the workforce of SolutionHealth, which includes Elliot Hospital System and Southern New Hampshire Health.
The company estimates it will lose more than $24 million a month after canceling elective surgeries and services to prepare for an anticipated surge in severely ill COVID-19 patients, according to a statement issued Wednesday. That includes purchasing ventilators and personal protective equipment, training staff for redeployment and adding more than 100 acute-care beds.
“Every health system in the country is facing a similar unprecedented situation — the need to abruptly transform and reconfigure one of the most trusted and essential assets our community has during a deadly pandemic,” Sherry Hausmann, president and CEO of SolutionHealth, said in a statement.
“While we do not regret doing all that we can to prepare for the predicted surge of patients to be sure that we are ready to, literally, save lives, we now must take action to reduce these unsustainable losses to ensure our viability for the future.”
According to Hausmann, about 650 staff members are being furloughed, and pay for the company’s senior leaders has been cut 15%. Furloughed employees retain full benefits, Tammaro said.
About another 750 employees are working reduced hours or have had their salaries reduced. SolutionHealth has about 7,000 employees.
“We recognize, and regret, the personal impact this has on our loyal employees,” Hausmann said in the statement. “On behalf of our board and system leadership, we are extremely proud of the effort, commitment, and support of all our staff during this challenging time.”
Granite State hospitals are losing nearly $200 million a month in revenue as they focus on COVID-19, according to the New Hampshire Hospital Association.
The association collected information from hospitals on estimated losses from activities to preserve personal protective equipment and prepare for a potential surge of COVID-19 patients, NHHA spokeswoman Vanessa Stafford told the Union Leader.
Earlier this month, Catholic Medical Center announced it was sidelining 700 workers after losing half of its $30 million in normal monthly revenues from elective surgeries and services.
The workers can go unpaid or use earned time, going up to two weeks into a negative balance, Lauren Collins-Cline, CMC’s director of communications and public relations, said.