SIOUX CITY -- The MercyOne healthcare system disclosed in a press release Tuesday plans to "adjust staffing levels and other direct expenses to address decreased revenues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic."
During the spring, when state mandates halted elective procedures and routine doctor visits became somewhat infrequent, revenues for some healthcare systems slumped. MercyOne runs hospitals and clinics throughout the state, including MercyOne Siouxland Medical Center in Sioux City.
"Like most hospitals and other industries across the country, we are facing significant pandemic-related challenges," MercyOne President and CEO Bob Ritz said in the statement.
"As we ramped up to support patients afflicted with COVID-19 and paused outpatient and elective services during stay-at-home orders, our revenues fell and operational costs increased. While we are appreciative of the financial support we received from the CARES Act which has helped cover our operating deficits for a few months, it only covers approximately 50% of our losses."
Ritz said that MercyOne revenues will be lower than normal "for at least the next 12 to 18 months."
Staffing cutbacks take effect in the first quarter of fiscal year 2021, which began July 1, according to the press release. Some positions will be eliminated, while others will go on extended furloughs or see their work schedules reduced. The staffing changes come on the heels of furloughs, and the eliminated positions will include some of those who were furloughed.
As part of surge plans, both Sioux City hospitals have opened intensive care units in other areas of the hospital and requested additional ventilators and personal protective equipment. One transferred some patients to other hospitals last week.
"Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to implement universal testing at every workplace we represent," the union said in a statement. "Every member of Local 222 is critical to our community and our nation surviving and thriving during this pandemic.
It all happened quickly. Kirsten Brewer said she couldn't sleep, and her contractions became more and more frequent, so a relative rushed her to the hospital. "I got up here, I was literally here probably 10 minutes, and she was out," Brewer said.
MercyOne Siouxland Medical Center is shown above in Sioux City. The MercyOne healthcare system, which runs hospitals and clinics throughout the state, announced staffing cutbacks in a press release this week.