The COVID-19 Pandemic has decimated the economy on all fronts and hospital systems across the nation are no exception. The Mohawk Valley Health System announced Monday a new restructuring plan to help in their own economic recovery.

MVHS shared with the media a message they sent to employees and medical staff. In it, they mentioned that the speed of the economic downturn for the system forced them to have to act fast and drastically to make a turn-around. A portion of the message reads,

COVID-19 affected us in many ways. There’s the obvious ones – disruption to our patients, closure of services, social isolation. The less obvious are the changes we must make in the way we function as a healthcare provider, the additional costs and diversion of resources that go to keeping our hospitals safe, and the tremendous financial impact COVID-19 continues to have on our organization.

So, what does that mean for the employees and staff there? What does it mean for their current facilities? The message is up-front and honest about the tremendous impact COVID-19 has had on the finances at MVHS. According to the memo federal funding has been beneficial in the short term, but over the long-term it is not sustainable. All told the system received about $30 million in federal aid, but the losses continue. The cost alone for PPE and other items to stay prepared for a possible resurgence of the virus is overwhelming. An example was given to demonstrate the seriousness of the economic issues plaguing the system.

To put this in perspective, even if we operate at 85 percent of our pre-COVID volumes, we will sustain monthly losses of between $5 and $7 million per month, or about $86 million a year. Clearly this is not sustainable.

So, what is the plan going forward? In order to save the economic state of MVHS they are making the hard decision to include in the plan position eliminations and severances, extended or new furloughs, and consolidation and changes in services and schedules, including the closing of Faxton Urgent Care. Telehealth services for the Urgent Care will continue through August 31st.

MVHS also told their employees that they are working with and having conversations with the unions about the impact of this on their membership. MVHS will also be freezing the hiring of new positions except those deemed essential. The restructuring plan also includes decreased discretionary spending and freezing nonessential capital expenditures.

More details are expected to be announced in the coming weeks, but officials at MVHS are reminding their staff of the tremendous job they did to keep everyone as safe as possible. They are enormously proud of the positive impact MVHS has had on the recovery of the patients in the community.