OPELIKA, Ala. (WRBL) – East Alabama Medical Center employees beginning with the hospital’s President and CEO, physicians, directors, and managers are taking temporary pay cuts as the hospital continues battling an expanding COVID-19 pandemic. The hospital’s goal is to keep non-management frontline workers financially whole
“The COVID-19 coronavirus is impacting almost every person, business, and East Alabama Medical Center is no exception,” said EAMC spokesperson John Atkinson.
A surge in expenses related to COVID-19 coupled with a swift reduction in the hospital’s ability to generate revenue is quickly impacting EAMC’s budget as well as hospitals across the country.
“During this unprecedented event, the inability to do business as usual with surgical operations and physician office operations, coupled with tremendous added expenses related to COVID testing, screening expenses, increased staffing expenses, surge capacity planning and operational expenses have significantly impacted the organization’s ability to generate revenue,” shared Atkinson.
Atkinson tells News 3 the hospital’s hope is to keep non-management frontline workers like nurses, respiratory therapists and others financially whole while they take on the pandemic. EAMC President and CEO Laura Grill explained this will mean temporary pay cuts for others, including herself.
“In an attempt to avoid impacting frontline staff as we are seeing elsewhere in Alabama and across the country, we are making some temporary pay cuts. I asked our senior leadership team to take the first cut and then we asked our employed physicians as well. Then, yesterday, we communicated a reduction in pay to the rest of our leadership team—our directors and managers. I am very hopeful that these cuts will be temporary and that business will return to normal in the near future. However, leadership starts with all of us. I am immensely proud of our team and entire organization, and thankful for the support of our community as we navigate these challenges,” said Grill.
EAMC is not alone. Other hospitals are struggling, creating cuts and furloughs. CNN reports the congressional $2.2 trillion stimulus carved out $100 billion to to help hospitals and medical facilities recoup costs due to the pandemic. $65 billion will go to hospitals, however how the money will be distributed and when remains unclear.