Erlanger Medical Group physicians and advanced practice providers will be taking a five percent reduction in base pay, officials confirmed.
The latter category includes physician assistants and advanced practice registered nurses.
Erlanger early last week furloughed some employees in a cost-cutting plan when its revenues plunged after elective surgeries were halted.
Officials said at the time, "Erlanger is among the nation’s essential public safety net hospitals which operate on particularly thin margins. To help offset the significant costs of treating patients with life-threatening emergencies, chronic disease and traumatic injuries, Erlanger and other safety net hospitals have relied on such services as elective surgery procedures and imaging to maintain financial viability, officials said.
Erlanger President and CEO Dr.
Will Jackson said, "When government officials ordered hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers to suspend elective procedures to free up capacity and supplies to treat COVID-19 patients, the move had a significant impact across the industry, especially on safety net hospitals. Losing these key sources of income while shifting operations to test and treat COVID-19 patients led to a 30-40 percent drop in Erlanger’s revenue within days.
“An immediate and decisive action was required to ensure we continue to provide essential services to the community and safeguard the long-term health of the organization.
“The sudden and unexpected COVID-19 pandemic has already cost Erlanger millions of dollars in the past week alone. This is revenue critical to paying our 7,000+ employees and continuing to treat Chattanooga’s most vulnerable and acutely ill populations.”
As a result, he said Erlanger officials were implementing a plan to mitigate the immediate financial impact, as well as provide the flexibility to prepare for unpredictable patient volumes.
Erlanger’s temporary expense reduction plan includes furloughing some administrative employees, changes to staffing, reducing overtime, suspending job recruitment for administrative positions, suspending vacation accruals, suspending 403b retirement contributions by the company and reductions in leadership pay.