Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System says the financial toll COVID-19 is having on health care systems everywhere is striking home in Spartanburg.
For the past several weeks, the health care system has experienced significant volume drops in elective surgeries, elective procedures, diagnostic testing, ambulatory and emergency center visits, according to a news release. At the same time, Spartanburg Regional paid “markedly higher pricing” for supplies related to COVID-19, the new coronavirus.
It’s been a formula for large financial losses, and these challenges are expected to continue until early June, the news release said.
Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System CEO Bruce Holstien said the system has already adjusted by flexing hours, cutting non-labor expenses and reducing the salaries of all management.
“The overriding focus is to maintain and support our frontline caregivers while addressing the realities of areas with low to no service demand,” Holstien said in the news release. “These are non-permanent and temporary measures that are anticipated ending no later than June 6. We will get past this, recover and move forward ever stronger as a community and as a health care system.”
In addition to cutting non-labor expenses and management salary reductions, Spartanburg Regional is using a variety of options including redeployment of staff, temporary furloughs and flexed work hours to mitigate the effects of reduced volumes.
“Spartanburg Regional has worked diligently to ensure care delivery and the safety of our team,” said Robert E. Gregory Jr., chairman of the Apella Health Board of Trustees, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit management company that provides oversight to Spartanburg Regional.
“Leadership has been very concerned about the health system’s economic realities and minimizing impact to our associates and physicians, but these are unprecedented times,” he said in the news release. “All these necessary steps in the fight against COVID-19 have led to sharp declines in the number of procedures and hospital occupancy rates, compelling us to increase our temporary actions.”
Last week, the Spartanburg Regional Foundation designated $2 million to establish a COVID-19 Fund to support the needs of system staff and patient care during the pandemic. To donate, please visit RegionalFoundation.com.