As Emory Healthcare works to fight the coronavirus pandemic, the economic hit to its other services has it furloughing or cutting work hours for up to 1,500 full-time-equivalent positions.

The furloughs and hour reductions will run June 1 through Aug. 31, said Dr. Jonathan S. Lewin, Emory Healthcare’s president and CEO, in a May 21 announcement. The healthcare system, which is part of Emory University, projected a $660 million revenue shortfall through August, he said.

“While never more proud of our team’s response, COVID-19 has had a significant negative impact on our normal revenue and operating expenses, which we must address to ensure a sustained financial recovery throughout our extensive health care system to continue our care and academic missions,” Lewin said in a written statement.

Emory Healthcare operates 11 hospitals, including Emory Saint Joseph’s in Sandy Springs, and around 250 outpatient practices. The healthcare system is also building a $1 billion medical and mixed-use complex at Executive Park in Brookhaven. It has nearly 25,000 employees.

Departments throughout the system will reduce labor expenses by at least 10% through the end of the fiscal year, Lewin said, through “flexible scheduling” and the furloughs. The intent is to still have staffing to meet patient demand and administrative work. “These changes will be reassessed continuously throughout that period,” he said.

Furloughed employees will retain healthcare benefits. Executive and senior management will receive a “scaled aggregate” compensation reduction of up to 25% for the fiscal year.

John Ruch

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.