Heavily impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, Altru Health System is facing a potential loss of $65 million and is taking steps to maintain its operations.
In order to focus on COVID-19, the hospital has reduced most general-elective surgeries by 60%, a huge drain on its revenue. Construction of its new $250 million facility has been put on hold, and hours of operation at some Altru locations are being reduced. The hospital is also moving to reduce pay and furlough some staff.
“While we have already taken several steps to combat the loss in revenue caused by COVID-19, such as pausing our hospital construction, placing a hiring freeze and applying for grants and loans, we must take additional actions to offset the impact on our organization,” stated Dr. Steven Weiser, president of Altru Health System, through a press release.
Part of the austerity measures include salary cuts for hospital leadership, including physician leadership, and executives are taking a 30% pay cut through 2020.
Altru also will reduce the number staffing hours by 10% to 15% because of reduced patient numbers. The reductions will be carried out through furloughs and a process called System Required Absence. The moves allow staff to retain their benefits and they will be able to return to work when patient numbers increase.
“These decisions are difficult but necessary,” Weiser said. “This is an incredibly uncertain time and we must act in the best interest of our health system, our patients and our employees .... These decisions help ensure Altru will continue to provide safe, high-quality care to our region for generations to come.”
Hours of operation are being reduced at two Altru locations.
Family Medicine at Altru Professional Center, 4440 S. Washington St., will be open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday. The new hours of operation begin on Friday, April 24. All family medicine providers at the Professional Center will be available for virtual visits. Appointments for virtual visits can be made by calling the Professional Center.
The Sanny and Jerry Ryan Center for Prevention and Genetics, located inside Choice Health and Fitness, 4401 S. 11th St., will be open from 7 a.m to 6 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The center will be open from 7 a.m. to noon Tuesday and Thursday. Providers at this center may be available for video visits, and people interested in doing so should call the center.