What local hospitals are doing concerning employees during COVID-19

SOUTHWEST, Mo./SOUTHEAST, Kan. – The Coronavirus has taken it’s toll on businesses across several platforms, including health care. We reached out to some local hospitals about potential furloughs and what they’re doing for employees.

We reached out to several local hospitals about any potential furloughs or changes they’re having to make as a result of COVID-19.

Mercy Hospital recently announced they’ll be making furloughs across their service area, which includes Joplin. In a statement provided to KOAM Mercy said that they’ll still be providing health insurance to furloughed workers. Additionally, 80 hours of PTO will be available to those being furloughed. However, contributions to 401k and 403b plans will not be made through 2020. Also, leadership will be taking a 26% pay cut for this year and they’ll not be hiring any new employees for the foreseeable future.

CoxHealth which operates hospitals in Monett and Barton County told us in a statement they’re not planning any layoffs. They say they’re prepared to open fully and safely – which may include expanding operating hours, doing procedures and surgeries on the weekend, and they will likely require more staff.

Ascension Via Christi officials says they’re offering employee assistance programs. At this time they are not furloughing any workers, but instead, those who can’t perform their normal duties are helping in other areas of the hospital to ensure everyone continues to get paid their normal wages.

As for Freeman Health System they are not planning any mass furloughs, however, they have asked each department to furlough people as they can. Employees that are furloughed can do so with or without pay. And the health system is providing an additional 40 hours of PTO to furloughed employees if needed. At this time, they also have no planned cuts in salaries or employee pay.

Each hospital group is handling the situation in the way that best helps them continue to operate and provide essential patient services.