The Mohawk Valley Health System Provides Revenue Recovery and Restructuring Plan

We’re all working diligently to keep our patients and employees safe while maintaining a state of readiness for a potential next wave of COVID-19. ”

— Darlene Stromstad, President/CEO

UTICA, NY, UNITED STATES, August 12, 2020 / — The Mohawk Valley Health System (MVHS) today announced to its employees and medical staff members its revenue recovery and restructuring plan for the system. The planning stage of this plan was announced just over two weeks ago. A copy of today’s announcement is below for your information.

Message to MVHS Employees and Medical Staff from President/CEO Darlene Stromstad, FACHE

Today is a very hard day for our organization and our employees. As I have been sharing with you on a regular basis, MVHS is not immune to the economic toll this novel Coronavirus has taken on hospitals and health systems across the nation. We’re all working diligently to keep our patients and employees safe while maintaining a state of readiness for a potential next wave of COVID-19. At the same time, we also are adapting to lower volumes caused by two things: the general public’s discomfort with accessing healthcare and the increased complications, and inefficiencies, of functioning in a post-COVID environment. None of us has been through anything like this before. It has changed our daily lives in ways we could not have envisioned. While it certainly has impacted healthcare, we are committed to doing all that we can to navigate in this new COVID era.

Two weeks ago I outlined the Revenue Recovery and Restructuring plan developed to ensure MVHS continues to meet our patients’ and community’s needs for the present while ensuring that we sustain this health system for generations to come. Today we took action on the most difficult elements of our Revenue Recovery and Restructuring Plan – those affecting our employees. Specifically, we:

o Eliminated a number of positions, effective Thursday, August 13. These positions were primarily clerical, administrative, leadership, business office, medical office support staff, and mixed logistical support. Maintaining frontline positions that directly care for patients, such as nurses and care attendants, was our priority. However, every area of the health system, including those departments represented by one of the five collective bargaining units, have felt the impact of position eliminations.

Our goal is to be as supportive to our employees as possible. This means that we are working with representatives of the labor unions and with individual employees to identify vacant positions employees can move into. We continue to have openings in several areas and will retrain our employees if they desire. MVHS is also providing comprehensive outplacement services for displaced employees. Severance and short-term continuation of health insurance has also been made available for eligible employees.

We’ve eliminated several open positions that didn’t impact people. And, we’ve delayed hiring into some positions to make them available to our impacted employees.

o Extended furloughs, effective August 13 to October 13, for those positions in areas where there is a potential for volume increases within the next two months.

o Consolidated and changed services and schedules, including:
– Closure of Faxton Urgent Care – telehealth services for Urgent Care will be available through Monday, August 31. MVHS is working on extending hours in a couple of the MVHS primary care offices – evening and weekends – where patients can go for services in place of urgent care.
– Established a new Neurosciences Unit and an Intermediate Care Unit by converting the Progressive Care and Special Care units at the St. Luke’s Campus. All of the clinical staff of the PCU and SCU have the skills required for these new units.
– Consolidating pre-admission testing of all services and all campuses and converting it to a patient-centered surgical home program. That is, all services are brought to the patient in one location (the Medical Arts Building in New Hartford) so patients will no longer have to go to multiple sites for pre-admission tests.
– Closed and consolidated medical offices in the region (e.g., consolidated New Hartford offices into one office at Crossroads).
– Extended limiting discretionary spending and freezing nonessential capital expenditures.
– Extended salary cuts and pension elimination through October.

These were very hard decisions to make and implement – they were not made lightly. We recognize and value the contributions and sacrifices our employees have been making to help ensure that this vital healthcare organization will be here long into the future, and we are committed to supporting all employees through this transition.

May you all be mindful of the disruption this causes to those employees impacted and offer your support and respect to them. Thank you all for your dedication to MVHS.

Caitlin McCann
Mohawk Valley Health System
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