KRH announces pay cuts, furloughs as result of pandemic

by HEIDI DESCH
Editor | April 13, 2020 3:06 PM

Kalispell Regional Healthcare on Monday announced that due to financial impacts related to the COVID-19 pandemic that it will implement pay reductions for its executives, physicians and executive directors. Certain employees will also be furloughed and others will have hours or shifts reduced.

The furlough will impact about 600 employees.

KRH officials say the hospital system has bolstered its COVID-19 clinical teams, support staff and resources needed to deliver care, while ensuring the safety of patients and staff as the result of the pandemic. However, the health care system has halted many services contributing to a significant decline in revenue, KRH noted in a release.

“The compounding effect of the loss of patient volumes, cancellation of elective surgeries, and the closure of entire service lines has had a tremendous financial impact on KRH,” said KRH President and CEO Dr. Craig Lambrecht. “Cost cutting efforts have been underway but unfortunately those efforts alone cannot remedy the significance of these losses a time when we must safeguard a clinical stabilization program.”

Lambrecht noted that acting quickly is essential because the hospital system is projecting revenue losses in excess of $16 million per month, which could “jeopardize the organization’s ability to serve the long-term health needs of our community.”

The pay reductions and furloughs are effective immediately, according to KRH, and furloughed employees will continue to be offered health insurance benefits until Aug. 31. KHR says it will also assist with access to other wage-replacement alternatives, including enhanced unemployment benefits and the KRH Foundation’s Employee Crisis Fund, which provides financial support for employees in need.

KHR managers are expected to work with employees affected by furlough or reduced hours to assist them.

“I am confident that we will ramp back up quickly once it is safe to do so,” Lambrecht said. “It is my hope that everyone can weather this uncertain time and emerge safe and well.”