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Hospital announces staff furloughs in wake of COVID-19

Sarasota Memorial Hospital saw a $16 million reduction in revenue in March.

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  • | 7:10 p.m. April 3, 2020
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  • Manatee-Sarasota
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SARASOTA — Sarasota Memorial Hospital will temporarily furlough workers and reduce hours for other employees, citing financial challenges associated with COVID-19.

According to an article in the Sarasota Observer, a sister publication of the Business Observer, the hospital did not disclose specific cost-reduction plans. In a press release, it states that department heads will work to finalize cuts in the near future.

The hospital also says it saw a $16 million reduction in revenue in March, partially from eliminating nonessential procedures. Officials expect increased losses in April and May.

“While we have implemented a hiring freeze for all but mission-critical positions, and reduced staff’s hours in areas that have had to cancel services, COVID-19 still has cost SMH millions of dollars,” says Sarasota Memorial Health Care System President and CEO David Verinder in a statement. “We must take greater action now to sustain our ability to care for the community throughout and after this crisis.”

The hospital previously canceled nonessential procedures as part of its response to the coronavirus, and following new regulations. In the release, Sarasota Memorial Hospital says there has been a 30% decrease in hospital inpatients, a more than 50% decrease in surgical cases, a 66% decline in urgent care center volume and a 45% decrease in emergency care center volume.

The hospital says it's implementing pay cuts for senior leaders and suspending noncritical patient services and projects.

Of the 53 individuals to test positive for COVID-19 at Sarasota Memorial Hospital, five have died and 28 remain hospitalized.


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