Vidant Health announces furloughs, reduction in salaries and shifts effective April 26

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Vidant Health says it is feeling the effects of the coronavirus.

Leaders say they’re implementing furloughs, salary reductions and schedule adjustments, plus cutting executive pay. 

Vidant Health is treating many local coronavirus patients but leaders say they’re not seeing as many patients for other care and that is cutting into revenue. 

“We’ve been at the forefront of conversations about the challenges that face systems in rural America, and especially here at home in eastern North Carolina,” says Brian Floyd, president of Vidant Health. 

The east already faces health challenges, people with little to no insurance coverage, and many people with underlying illnesses, all are more prominent with the pandemic. 

But other issues like closed medical offices, and fewer emergency department and outpatient cases are hitting vidant’s bottom line.

Vidant has been experiencing a decrease in the revenue while at the same time having to increase the cost of care,” explains Floyd. 

Executives say they’re committed to keeping patients and employees safe. but those measures are costly. 

Pitt County’s Health Director believes the peak of COVID19 cases is yet to come. 

“Looking more towards the end of the month here beginning of next month, I would estimate that we would peak somewhere in the 125-135 confirmed cases across the county at this time looking at the rate they’re coming in,” says Dr John Silvernail. 

Executives want people to know, Vidant is still here for them.

Floyd states, “Vidant remains open and here for you should you need care. There are nearly 500 patients in Vidant Medical Center that are non-covid patients and we continue to make sure we’re ready to take care and safely take care of the patients who need care otherwise.”

Vidant’s leaders don’t know the pandemic’s final financial impact, but they expect it to be significant. 

They were already facing a revenue shortfall earlier this year that led to some employee layoffs.

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) Effective April 26, Vidant will reduce compensation for executives and all team members through implementing furloughs, salary reductions, and schedule and shift adjustments.

Due to COVID-19, Vidant is experiencing a significant decrease in volumes which is impacting revenue.

To meet the real impact of COVID-19, the organization must take immediate action and adjust its workforce structure in order to support the changes in operational needs.

Vidant will also be reducing employer contributions to retirement plans by 50 percent.

The reduction in salary will be tiered according to the level of position, with executives taking the most significant percentage of decrease of up to 25 percent.

Vidant will monitor the health system’s operations and volumes on an ongoing basis and adjust staffing plans accordingly.

“This is a financially challenging time for all health systems throughout the country. It’s even more challenging for rural health care where there hasn’t been enough effort made to address the unique realities we already face,” said Michael Waldrum, MD, CEO of Vidant Health. “We must take these necessary actions to ensure Vidant is able to continue to meet its mission now and into the future.”

Vidant is grateful for the community’s response to the stay-at-home orders and social distancing and is hopeful the curve has been flattened enough to prevent a significant surge in COVID-19 patients.

“It’s important we continue to distance ourselves, wash our hands and to do all of things that will help prevent spread of this virus,” said Dr. Waldrum. “This crisis is far from over, but the things we are doing now will continue to make our ability to respond manageable.”

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