With more than 200,000 cases as of April 2, coronavirus has a big impact on America's health care systems. Due to the crashing economy, doctors and nurses who are serving to fight COVID-19 will also be facing pay cuts. This is just one of the many economic challenges that COVID-19 has left in its wake.
Companies which have agreements with hospitals to hire staffers in emergency rooms mentioned that the epidemic has affected their top earners of revenue, which is non-essential and elective procedures. Most services in states are affected by the coronavirus, that's why hospitals are requesting for more medical staff to help.
Pay cuts due to COVID-19 economic shockwaves
Alteon Health CEO Steve Holtzclaw released a memo addressed to all their employees that reads: "Despite the risks our providers are facing, and the great work being done by our teams, the economic challenges brought forth by COVID-19 have not spared our industry."
Alteon Health has more than 1,700 clinicians in 16 states and the District of Columbia. According to Holtzclaw, they will be mandating a 20% pay cut for administrative staff, including suspension of 401(k), matches, bonuses and paid time off, which ProPublica revealed.
In spite of the cut, Holtzclaw claimed that medical professionals working on COVID-19 cases will get more than what they're usually paid: "In fact, doctors and other clinicians who are working more hours on COVID-related cases will get paid more than they would have previously."
Holtzclaw added, "You can be assured that similar measures are being contemplated within these organizations and will likely be implemented in the coming weeks." On the other hand, it was not specified how long this pay cut will be implemented.
In a statement last Wednesday, Alteon Health has 'expanded eligibility for our clinician health benefits, and we are paying doctors who are self-isolating.' Holtzclaw said that expenses will be prioritized for those needing the finances most.
Cuts can amount to as much as $20,000
One doctor who is is classified as an Alteon Health administrative employee told ProPublica that the cuts made will be about $20,000 a year. He can see the reason for the cuts but want the employees to choose their tasks.
Meanwhile, more companies are adjusting compensation during the outbreak. Atrius Health in Massachusetts employs 1,100+ doctors, primary care providers, and clinicians who get 10%-25% pay cuts, which will be returned at a later date, according to the Boston Globe.
The CEO of Atrius Health is asking non-doctor personnels to opt for a one-month unpaid leave, but with health benefits. Boston Globe added that emergency room staff at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston will be exempted.
According to Matt Bivens, an emergency room doctor, "This is at a time when many of us have moved out to live like lepers separate from family to prevent spreading infection, and have already been working huge extra hours trying to scrape together personal protective equipment and otherwise brace for COVID-19."
Tenet Healthcare that runs 65 hospitals in Dallas, has stopped 401(k) matches, confirmed by ProPublica. The Tennessee-based company said, "We are not instituting any reduction in pay or benefits." They also claimed that their employees will not be affected by pay cuts.
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