Baylor Scott & White Health announced this week that approximately three percent of their workforce will be laid off due to economic damage caused by coronavirus-related restrictions. Furloughs and pay cuts are also expected.
In a statement that Baylor released to multiple outlets, the hospital system referenced the economic impact of rules implemented to prepare hospitals for what could have been an overrun of patients sick with the new coronavirus disease.
“Now, as early data is revealing the significant economic implications of the pandemic on Texans and the operational and financial implications on our health system, we are implementing changes to remain prepared and able to adapt in continued unpredictability,” the statement said.
The Dallas Morning News reported that Jim Hinton, the hospital system’s CEO, addressed employees in a video on Tuesday, explaining that Baylor had seen a 50 to 90 percent decrease in patient volumes at their hospitals. The newspaper reported that the layoffs would amount to about 1,200 employees.
As part of the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, Governor Greg Abbott ordered hospitals in March to delay all elective and nonessential surgeries to create more capacity, a directive that wasn’t lifted until after April 21.
“[A] shortage of hospital capacity or personal protective equipment would hinder efforts to cope with the COVID-19 disaster,” Abbott stated in his executive order.
In their statement, Baylor discusses other measures they will be taking, including temporary pay cuts for high-level executives and, “flexing and furloughing of employees to accommodate changing volumes[.]”
Baylor had reassured all employees that they would be paid through the end of May, but more recently extended that assurance to June 7.
The hospital system characterized the changes as part of a “comprehensive plan to strengthen [Baylor Scott & White Health] for the future, including growing digital offerings and further investing in team members on the frontlines.”
The healthcare sector is one of many segments of the economy weathering losses from coronavirus-related restrictions.
The Wall Street Journal reported today that consumer spending overall declined 13.6 percent in April, which is the steepest drop since 1959.
Baylor Scott & White Health has 50 hospitals in Texas, in addition to over 800 patient care sites, 7,500 active physicians, and more than 49,000 workers, per the system’s website.
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Hayden Sparks is a reporter for The Texan in Dallas. During the academic year, he coaches high school competitive speech and debate and has also been involved in community theater and politics. A native Texan, Hayden served as a delegate at the Republican Party of Texas Convention in 2016. He is on track to receive a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Liberty University. In his free time, Hayden is known to take walks around the neighborhood while listening to random music on Spotify.