Sansum Clinic Temporarily Furloughs 50% of Employees

Sansum Clinic Temporarily Furloughs 50% of Employees title=
Sansum Clinic Temporarily Furloughs 50% of Employees
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Update by Sansum Clinic
2:30 p.m., March 27, 2020


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
9:00 p.m., March 26, 2020

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]

By an edhat reader
7:00 a.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?

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Marv Mar 29, 2020 05:23 PM
Sansum Clinic Temporarily Furloughs 50% of Employees

If Sansum Clinic is in dire financial straits, it should approach CENCAL Health for funding. If not for Sansum Clinic, CENCAL Health would not have an adequate provider network throughout the county. CENCAL Health members would not have adequate access to primary and specialty care, were it not for Sansum Clinic. CENCAL is a public agency and when the community needs for everyone to pony up, CENCAL Health should be expected to deliver as well.

JB86 Mar 27, 2020 05:37 PM
Sansum Clinic Temporarily Furloughs 50% of Employees

Little PR goof on Sansum's part. Media Relations 101 says do a press release immediately after notifying employees. Maybe next time. Some people will have concerns about what exactly is an 'elective procedure.' We know a person in NYC who has Stage IV pancreatic cancer and was scheduled for surgery last week, after a round of chemo. Her surgery was postponed indefinitely. Maybe doctors decided her risk of getting this virus, with a suppressed immune system, was too great. I don't know, but there doesn't seem to be a list of elective surgeries that is universally agreed to.

SantaBarbaraObserver Mar 27, 2020 09:52 AM
Sansum Clinic Temporarily Furloughs 50% of Employees

Good move on their part. Furloughed employees are able to file for UI as well as receive additional Fed benefits. Those furloughed are not essential, especially when most offices are closed. Now we need the City and County of SB to follow but take it a step further. Lay off as many as you can immediately and put provisions for those furloughed that assure these jobs and their inflated salaries are NOT guaranteed. Our city and county need to cut its payroll and expenses ASAP - lay off all non-essential employees and prepare for a few years of depression like revenues. The tax revenues that barely keep the city afloat during boom times, are decimated. As in 10% of their norms... We need swift action or Santa Barbara will be insolvent.

AdamVant Mar 27, 2020 09:45 AM
Sansum Clinic Temporarily Furloughs 50% of Employees

Bad news about Sansum. But some good news: The DMV is temporarily closing its offices, but all DMV employees will be on paid leave. Sansum, gone. DMV, OK. So we're all good.

a-1590968189 Mar 27, 2020 11:57 AM
Sansum Clinic Temporarily Furloughs 50% of Employees

It's sure good many of us rushed out to get the Real ID before the deadline. Hah! Well, at least those of us who did won't have to experience the DMV again when the rush resumes next year.

Coolio Mar 27, 2020 09:55 AM
Sansum Clinic Temporarily Furloughs 50% of Employees

DMV office is closed to public only. DMV employees are either teleworking are going to the office to work. They are not on paid leave unless they're sick and cannot work.

aragorn Mar 27, 2020 09:30 AM
Sansum Clinic Temporarily Furloughs 50% of Employees

I am suppose to have my annual eye exam next month April at Sansum Clinic. Have not yet received notice that it has been canceled. If it will be canceled, I'll just wait when I will be rescheduled.

El Barbareno Mar 27, 2020 09:26 AM
Sansum Clinic Temporarily Furloughs 50% of Employees

From "Sansum Clinic is a community clinic based in Santa Barbara, CA that was founded in 1921. As of 2018 they had $303 million in revenue and $144 million in assets."

Potif Mar 27, 2020 10:11 PM
Sansum Clinic Temporarily Furloughs 50% of Employees

Just a reminder... Assets don’t equal cash to pay people. And, their revenue has dropped, and probably is not, based on the current situation, going to reach $303 million this year.

RHS Mar 27, 2020 08:31 AM
Sansum Clinic Temporarily Furloughs 50% of Employees

Thank you for updating this item. According to other sources the employees are not being fired nor laid off, all will retain health care benefits, the action is simply because there is no business for them to perform now. Those who have work to do will be kept on board. Patients of Sansum who need care will get it. But elective surgeries and all are out of the picture for the time being in an effort to reduce bad exposure and to save resources for the COVID-19 response. This is pretty sane stuff.

RHS Mar 27, 2020 08:46 AM
Sansum Clinic Temporarily Furloughs 50% of Employees

Also: Physicians, nurse practitioners and some other medical staff are managed by a separate group and are not being furloughed as of Thursday according to the Sansum spokesperson.

RHS Mar 26, 2020 06:23 PM
Sansum Clinic Temporarily Furloughs 50% of Employees

Once again we note that these sort of sordid and frightening and apocalyptic gossips should not be circulated on this sort of website. Please hold off. We need to know if this sort of stuff is true. Many Edhat people are affected by this sort of thing. Shouldn't Edhat have more responsibly than to to simply post this sort of thing???

RHS Mar 29, 2020 10:18 AM
Sansum Clinic Temporarily Furloughs 50% of Employees

Not sordid because the facts were obtained and posted. It was gossip before the updated and correct info was shared. This should have been done at first to avoid the anxiety the gossip created.

Always_Running Mar 26, 2020 02:52 PM
Sansum Clinic Temporarily Furloughs 50% of Employees

If they want to qualify for the government loan they aren’t allowed to lay-off or fire any employees. To my understanding they will be required to rehire any laid off employees or pay back the loan immediately.

Sbaero Mar 26, 2020 01:32 PM
Sansum Clinic Temporarily Furloughs 50% of Employees

At Sansum podiatry I know they are canceling elective procedures. My (non-Sansum) physical therapy and imaging is being cancelled as well. I doubt they are permanently laying off those employees, but they must be losing 60-80% of their revenue by canceling everything except primary and urgent care – I'm sure they will be furloughing staff in those departments.

a-1590968189 Mar 26, 2020 01:07 PM
Sansum Clinic Temporarily Furloughs 50% of Employees

This is not correct at all! Is this really the best way to advertise false information, when it is not correct and then induce fear into others who work there and the community, especially given all the COVID-19 concerns?!?

100572P Mar 26, 2020 12:38 PM
Sansum Clinic Temporarily Furloughs 50% of Employees

RELAAAXXXXXX everyone. I am sure it is not anyone who is needed for critical care. The Podiatrist office can handle cutting back, and really you should reschedule in the name of shelter in place.

a-1590968189 Mar 26, 2020 12:14 PM
Sansum Clinic Temporarily Furloughs 50% of Employees

Trillion Dollar bill in Congress now should NOT be passed. Little money goes to hospitals, state or local government.... There is no money for copays or hospital bills... Lots of big breaks for large corporation (many who don't pay taxes) for keeping people employed a few months with little oversight in advance or who pollute the environment... We are not making good decisions just like in 2008. Moving forward it will be harder to get a bill done. Sickening.

biguglystick Mar 27, 2020 10:42 AM
Sansum Clinic Temporarily Furloughs 50% of Employees

NO breaks for big corporations should be given. America needs to take care of its PEOPLE for once! Do not vote Republican or there will be more and more of this. Breaks to big money corporations and screw the little people! I'm so angry.

a-1590968189 Mar 26, 2020 11:37 AM
Sansum Clinic Temporarily Furloughs 50% of Employees

Wow. I’m so disgusted right now with our healthcare system. Another disgustingly wealthy mega corporation (nonprofit, lol) throwing its people under the bus so it’s CEO’s can continue their Montecito lifestyle. Meanwhile, poor, poor little Cottage Hospital needs donations if we want to (maybe) stay healthy. It’s just vulgar.

2contango Mar 26, 2020 11:34 AM
Sansum Clinic Temporarily Furloughs 50% of Employees

This is happening across the country. Some excerpts from a letter the American Hospital Assn. sent to Congress on March 19: "In order to make sure supplies and inpatient beds are available, surgeries that are not absolutely critical are being postponed in many areas; however, this results in serious financial hardship for many hospitals and physician practices. Some facilities and practices are able to absorb significant losses for a period of time but others, such as rural facilities, are not." "Due to expenses to treat COVID-­19 patients, hospitals are currently losing up to $1 million per day. This loss may increase as the outbreak spreads. "

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