Area hospitals take steps to reduce costs during COVID-19 pandemic

Are more hospitals considering furloughs?

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - After UAB’s decision to furlough 325 employees due to the pandemic, we wanted to know if other area hospitals are considering any layoffs.

We called Brookwood Baptist Health, St. Vincent Hospital and Children’s of Alabama Tuesday afternoon.

Those hospitals were not available for interviews, but two of the hospitals did release statements.

Like most hospitals, Children’s of Alabama, has seen a dramatic drop in patient activity as a result of COVID-19.

A spokesman from Children’s said a number of steps have been taking to reduce the spread of the virus, and also reduce certain expenses.

In a statement, Children’s said, “This has caused us to experience a significant reduction in revenue.”

But unlike UAB, Children’s hospital said, “Currently that does not include any plans for furloughing staff. Since the Governor’s ‘New Safer-at-Home’ plan, we have reopened most of our services and are here to provide care for the children of Alabama in a safe environment.”

Meanwhile, Brookwood Baptist Health has redirected resources in an ongoing effort to manage operations during the pandemic.

The hospital has already implemented furloughs for jobs where activity was limited.

Brookwood said in a statement, “We are providing all furloughed employees with medical benefits support consistent with their elections and at no cost to them, covering the employee and employer contributions of premiums for medical, employee/spouse critical illness and supplemental life.”

A spokesperson from Brookwood Baptist said those furloughs were announced several weeks ago, and right now no layoffs are in the works.

Both Brookwood and Children’s hospitals said they are doing their best to keep patients and staff safe during these unprecedented times.

Copyright 2020 WBRC. All rights reserved.