Hospital looks at next steps amid COVID pandemic

 

Northern Michigan’s largest healthcare system initiates plan to align resources, transform delivery of care and adjust cost structure to meet the future.

Munson Healthcare announced today the next phase of its COVID-19 Recovery Plan to address the impact of the pandemic, additional challenges and opportunities the organization faces and transform patient care to ensure a sustainable future for the region’s largest healthcare system.

This second phase will be implemented over the next 12-18 months as the system aligns resources, develops new, innovative models of care through the use of technology and telemedicine, reprioritizes capital investments, and adjusts its cost structure to meet a new healthcare reality.

The first phase of this plan was initiated in April to help mitigate the immediate financial impact of COVID-19 and included reducing hours or furloughing some employees, pausing capital projects and reducing compensation for all vice presidents and above by at least 20% depending on the job role.

“While services continue to re-open week-by-week, we don’t anticipate returning to pre-COVID patient volumes in some areas of our system for at least the next 12 months,” said Ed Ness, Munson Healthcare President and CEO. “Some services are busy but many others remain 80-90% of what they were prior to the pandemic. In addition, the one-time government relief funding we have received covers only half of the losses the healthcare system experienced from March through June 2020.”

Multiple factors contribute to the challenges being faced by healthcare as the pandemic continues and even after it passes.

The public’s apprehension about contracting COVID-19 at a healthcare facility and the economic impact on household incomes and insurance coverage influence decisions to seek care. In addition, the strain created by growing federal and state budget deficits is likely to have a significant effect on healthcare funding in the years ahead.

Munson Healthcare receives nearly 75% of its funding from government sources such as Medicare and Medicaid.

“The healthcare needs of our region are ever-evolving and we are poised to meet those changes,” said Ness. “Prior to the pandemic, we were already on a path to transform the way we operate and provide care. The extraordinary circumstances of the last few months have required us to quicken our pace.”

During this next phase, Munson Healthcare will significantly transform patient care and operations by:
• Evolving the delivery of patient care through the use of technology, telemedicine and other innovative delivery models

• Identifying, prioritizing and investing in only essential capital projects

• Aligning system resources and coordination to best meet the needs of communities across northern Michigan

• Implementing strategies to position the healthcare system to meet change and new opportunities with agility and stand accountable to the communities it serves

• Adjusting cost structure to reflect the new reality of the impact of COVID-19, uncertain patient volumes, Auto No-Fault changes, and reimbursement pressure from state and federal sources

It is always our priority to minimize the impact of change on people, but some job reductions are an unfortunate reality in order to structure our healthcare system for a sustainable future.

We are focusing our efforts on overhead and administrative functions, areas where we are predicting continued volume decreases and departments whose work has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our commitment to clinical excellence remains unwavering and uncompromised.

Services continue to re-open at facilities across the system while remaining poised to care for both COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients as the pandemic persists.

Munson Healthcare will continue to provide information and guidance regarding COVID-19 as well as updates on the many ways that operations and patient care are being transformed across the system during the next phase of this plan.

For the very latest updates on COVID-19 and other news from Munson Healthcare please visit munsonhealthcare.org.

 

Leave a Reply