By MEGHAN GLOVA
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS
Now it’s St. Charles turn to recover.
The health system is hoping to regain financial footing and get back to normal operations. Implementing a yearlong goal to “break even” for two months by the end of 2020, without laying off or furloughing any employees.
CFO Jenn Welander says, “What we need to do now though, is the organization has to adapt to whatever its new normal is. Which is literally being redefined every day. But we have to start to be able to break even and make margin.”
Welander says the focus is on financial recovery. Which will start with a 10% pay cut through the end of the year for the health system’s Executive Care Team.
Additionally, St. Charles will:
- Give caregivers who qualify the opportunity to participate in one or more of three voluntary programs including a temporary reduction in hours, unpaid time off or a summer sabbatical.
- Require caregivers in nonpatient-facing areas to use earned time off or unpaid time off during extended closures around the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, and Christmas holidays
- By mid-June, return to its normal way of flexing staffing based on patient volumes, which means caregivers who are “called off” will no longer be paid for missed shifts
“We have to understand the demand for our services so we know what type of margin and cash flow we can generate,” Welander explained.
Between March and early May, St. Charles lost $39 million in patient revenue. All while spending $6.5 million more than usual to plan and prepare for the pandemic.
“We hit a low point around the third week in April where we were about 49% off of normal,” Welander said. “Which all businesses that experience that, it’s a severe financial impact.”
According to St. Charles, even if the health system is able to meet their goal, they may still lose over $50 million this year.
Welander says, “I’m not trying to re-coop that prior loss.”