Saint Luke’s Health System to furlough employees, citing COVID-19 impacts

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Saint Luke’s Hospital

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Saint Luke’s Health System is the latest metro hospital group to cut costs as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

A hospital spokesperson tells FOX4 that Saint Luke’s will furlough some employees for 90 days. The exact number of employees was not released.

A number of cost cutting measures are also going into effect, including streamlining care and eliminating non-essential expenditures. Senior executives are also taking a pay cut.

Hospitals have been hit hard financially due to patients putting off elective surgeries and doctor’s visits during the height of the pandemic.

Children’s Mercy Hospital furloughed 575 employees in April, citing COVID-19 related budget shortfalls.

Saint Luke’s issued this statement on the furloughs:

From the onset of COVID-19, Saint Luke’s has worked diligently to ensure we had the resources available to safely treat our patients, and to properly protect our staff providing life-saving care. We stocked up on supplies and deferred procedures where possible.

Thankfully for Kansas City and our neighboring communities, the surge never reached the catastrophic levels we feared. However, the financial impact of these actions has been significant, not just to us, but to hospitals and health systems in Kansas City and across the nation.
 
As a result, Saint Luke’s is implementing a number of cost-saving measures, including streamlining care, eliminating non-essential expenditures, and instituting a 90-day furlough for a limited number of employees. We are also using this as an opportunity to innovate and reimagine how we provide care, increasing virtual visit opportunities and expanding telemedicine.
 
As our cities and states re-open, we ask our community to remember that the battle is not yet won. The virus is still among us.

Saint Luke’s stands ready to treat and care for our patients whenever they need us. We ask Kansas City to help us with that mission. Mask up, wash your hands, practice social distancing, and remember, we’re all in this together.

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