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Hundreds of furloughs possible at Kalispell Regional Healthcare

Nurse vote to unionize at Kalispell hospital
Posted at 2:30 PM, Apr 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-14 09:45:22-04

KALISPELL — The COVID-19 outbreak is forcing hundreds of furloughs and other cost cutting measures at Kalispell Regional Healthcare (KRH).

KRH has boosted its COVID-19 clinical teams, support staff and resources needed to deliver life-saving care and ensure patient and staff safety as a result of the pandemic, according to a news release. However, many other services at KRH have been halted, contributing to a significant decline in revenue.

“The compounding effect of the loss of patient volumes, cancellation of elective surgeries, and the closure of entire service lines has had a tremendous financial impact on KRH,” said KRH President and CEO Craig Lambrecht, M.D.

“Cost cutting efforts have been underway but unfortunately those efforts alone cannot remedy the significance of these losses a time when we must safeguard a clinical stabilization program.”

Dr. Lambrecht stated that if action isn’t taken quickly KRH projects revenue losses in excess of $16 million per month, “which could jeopardize the organization’s ability to serve the long-term health needs of our community.”

KRH executives, physicians and executive directors will be taking reductions to their salaries effective immediately. Additionally, KRH will begin furloughing and reducing the hours and shifts for certain employees. According to a news release, the furloughs could impact about 600 employees.

KRH will continue to offer furloughed employees health insurance benefits until August 31, 2020 and will facilitate access to other wage-replacement alternatives, including enhanced unemployment benefits and the KRH Foundation’s Employee Crisis Fund, which provides financial support for employees in need.

Managers will be working over the next several days with all of those affected by furlough or reduced hours to help them with the transition.

“I am confident that we will ramp back up quickly once it is safe to do so,” said Dr. Lambrecht. “It is my hope that everyone can weather this uncertain time and emerge safe and well.”