Arnot Health announces temporary furloughs

Coronavirus

ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – According to a press release, Arnot Health will be making staffing arrangements in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Arnot Health employees were informed on April 9 that the organization has begun that process of determining which positions will be furloughed. Affected employees will be notified no later than April 17.

As an unintended consequence of the mandate that all NYS hospitals suspend almost all routine,
non-emergent care to minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19 and ensure the availability of beds
to respond to the ongoing pandemic, like so many other NYS hospitals, Arnot Health‟s revenues
have been reduced by approximately fifty percent.
The mandatory reduction in services has helped control the spread of COVID-19 in our community and enabled Arnot Health to enhance its COVID-19 surge capacity to care for the community, as requested by the Governor in March. However, the subsequent reductions in patient revenue have made it impossible for Arnot Health to afford the cost of current staffing levels in all but the most essential areas at this time. Like most other upstate NY hospitals and health systems, Arnot Health is now faced with the difficult, yet unavoidable decision to furlough any positions that are not absolutely critical to fulfilling its daily operating requirements.
“As leaders of organizations comprised of such talented, dedicated, and compassionate
professionals, this is the most painful decision hospital boards and management teams now must
make,” said Jonathan Lawrence, Arnot Health President and CEO. “It is of no consolation that so
many other facilities are now forced to take similar measures. However, this action is essential to
safeguard our organization‟s viability and to preserve the future of our mission. Arnot is working
with our elected officials and state healthcare association to ensure that our voice is heard as
legislation is developed to ease the devastating financial impact of this crisis on our people and our organization.”
Arnot Health employees were informed yesterday that the organization has begun the process of
determining which positions will be furloughed, with all affected employees to be notified no later than Friday, April 17, 2020. This furlough will affect clinical and non-clinical staff in both inpatient and outpatient areas across the entire Arnot Health system. Furloughed employees will be called back to work based on patient volumes should they increase due to COVID-19 patients or other critical needs.
In contrast to a layoff, a furlough is an unpaid leave of absence, which is expected to be for a
temporary period. Furloughed employees will retain their current health benefits for up to six
months at their current employee cost, and Arnot Health will continue to pay the employer portion of the premium. Most, if not all, furloughed employees will also qualify for unemployment benefits.
As employees directly affected by COVID-19, furloughed Arnot Health employees may also qualify
for additional unemployment dollars through the Cares Act, which could provide up to $600 in
additional compensation per week to help reduce the economic impact of this crisis.
“We are also establishing a „COVID-19 Employee Relief Fund‟ through the Arnot Health
Foundation,” Lawrence said. “As we are all in this together, my family and I will be making a
leadership-level gift to inspire others in the organization, and throughout our community, to support our colleagues.”

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