(Washington, IN) – Daviess Community Hospital announced today that
the hospital will be initiating cost-cutting measures to help stabilize
their financial position.
In March, the hospital began postponing and cancelling elective surgeries
as well as “wellness” visits at outpatient clinics after Governor
Eric Holcomb implemented the stay-at-home order due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since that time, the hospital’s daily census in many areas has drastically
decreased. Increasing costs and decreasing revenue associated with postponed/canceled
visits and procedures due to the COVID-19 pandemic have drastically impacted
the hospital’s finances.
“Not only is DCH dealing with the lost revenue associated with the
decline in volumes, DCH is also experiencing an increase of many of the
hospital’s operating expenses related to this pandemic,” said
Randy Russell, CFO. “Our supply costs continue to increase due to
inflated rates and scarce supply, which mostly consists of necessary PPE
to protect our staff.”
In addition, Russell shared that DCH is now spending previously designated
capital dollars to equip the facility with ventilators and monitors, as
well as converting numerous rooms to negative airflow to handle infected patients.
According to Daviess Community Hospital’s CEO, Tracy Conroy, “These
declines are not sustainable without substantial short-term reductions.”
Effective April 26, 2020 Daviess Community Hospital will implement a “freeze”
on the following:
- All capital purchases
- Tuition reimbursement for employees
In addition, exempt employees will see a 10% reduction in salary. Healthcare
providers in the Daviess Community Hospital system will also be affected
by the cost-saving measures.
Daviess Community Hospital will also implement an employee furlough program
beginning with the April 26th pay period. The furlough, as opposed to
a reduction-in-force, will allow employees to immediately return to work
rather than go through the re-hire process in the future. Benefits for
furloughed employees will be carried by the hospital throughout the furlough
period. Furloughed employees have the opportunity for unemployment and
maintain their health benefits during this time. Conroy emphasized that
this is a temporary solution and these measures will be evaluated in 30
days to determine next steps.
“This was a very difficult decision, but we have a responsibility
to all the employees, patients, and to the community to do what is necessary
to sustain operations.,” said Conroy.