Sansum Clinic Temporarily Furloughs 50% of Employees
SANSUM CLINIC FORCED TO ENACT TEMPORARY FURLOUGHS DUE TO FINANCIAL LOSSES FROM COVID-19
Sansum Clinic CEO and Medical Director Kurt Ransohoff, MD, FACP along with its Foundation leadership and Board of Trustees announces that due to substantial financial losses from coronavirus or COVID-19, the non-profit would be enacting a temporary furlough of around 50% of its clinical and non-clinical staff, in order to continue to operate and serve its more than 130,000 patients. Because of the pressing need to protect health and safety, Sansum Clinic in recent weeks intentionally limited non-essential medical visits. This measure combined with a 50% drop in patient volume overall, has forced into action a plan to preserve the financial health of the organization.
“This is a difficult and painful decision for tough times. We are saddened about the impact we know this will have on our employees,” commented Dr. Ransohoff. “If we did not act now, we would not be able to operate until our business returns to normal or until any outside assistance arrives. We do believe this is temporary, and we are doing all we can to help our patients, staff and community at this critical time.”
Sansum Clinic team members affected by these furloughs will remain employees and continue to receive health insurance, and the Clinic’s Human Resources Department will be working individually with staff to assist with application for any benefits available for those who qualify.
Sansum Clinic has begun to successfully utilize telehealth appointments for some patients in the interim, however revenue from these visits is not enough to completely counterbalance the current financial loss. The Clinic is also dramatically reducing all non-essential expenses at the time, and its executives are receiving pay reductions alongside employees.
The Clinic has reached out to local elected officials to be sure that our unique structure – the only independent 1206(l) Foundation – is seriously considered in any potential state or federal support to come for critical healthcare infrastructure. Sansum Clinic’s leadership team is working closely with Cottage Health, the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department and other local entities, to ensure that the community’s needs can be met until the end of the COVID-19 situation.
“We do hope things will improve quickly and that these unfortunate measures will be for a shorter duration than we might expect,” added Dr. Ransohoff.
Update by edhat staff
Sansum Clinic will reportedly announce a round of furloughs on Friday due to financial solvency.
An edhat reader previously reported some employees were notified that the nonprofit health care group expects to layoff up to 50% of staff effective Friday.
Sources close to the company who asked to remain anonymous confirmed the announcement and state they're expecting temporary furloughs but it's unclear what the future holds as the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic worsens. They also report the majority of non-emergency departments are empty seeing very few patients, if any at all, in the past three weeks.
An open letter to employees on the Sansum Clinic website states they have made the difficult decision to cancel many non-essential and elective visits and are now offering limited Telehealth appointments. The letter has since been removed from the website following our initial reporting.
"We want to be transparent in acknowledging that the significant decrease in patient volumes means that we may not need all functions at this time. We are making temporary staffing adjustments to help us weather the financial challenges we are facing and will have more clarity on this important topic early this week. We are very focused on this time on ensuring we are appropriately staffed in all departments that are still seeing patients," the letter stated.
A representative from Sansum Clinic has not responded to edhat's request for comment. However, Sansum Medical Director and CEO Dr. Kurt Ransohoff spoke to KEYT confirming the decision to cut 30% of non-doctor payroll where doctors and nurse practitioners will not be affected by the furloughs.
According to KEYT, some staff members will have their hours reduced and others will be temporarily out of work as Sansum hopes for an eight-week time frame to get back to a normal schedule. However, employees more than a 50% reduction in hours will have the employee portion of their monthly health care premiums paid for by Sansum.
Sansum Clinic operates 22 locations throughout Santa Barbara County and lists over 300 physicians on its website and more than 1,000 staff members.
[Editor's Note: This article has been edited to reflect recent updates since the initial time of publication at 3:00 p.m., March 26, 2020]
Sansum Clinic announced to its employees that it will layoff up to 50% of its staff and physicians. My wife is an employee and it was announced it would effective this Friday.
The reason was financial solvency. They said if they don’t do this they will not be able to stay open for 45 days. All of this information was relayed to management via conference call with the CEO on Wednesday.
Does anyone have more information?