Like every rural healthcare organization, Bath Community Hospital is currently facing a financial challenge. Not only with the looming COVID19 surge, but federal mandates have forced the facility to cancel surgeries, close the wellness center and cafeteria as well as cancel appointments throughout the facilities. While these events have helped BCH to preserve personal protective equipment for their employees and prevent exposure to staff and patients, it has created a business challenge. Other hospitals and health systems in the surrounding area are experiencing this as well. “People are self-isolating and overall that’s good for the communities. Unfortunately, it’s not good for the overall finances for our facility,” said Kathy Landreth, CEO.
Last week, Bath Community Hospital began identifying employees, including managers and leaders, who will be furloughed on a temporary basis. Those impacted by this will still be eligible to retain their core benefits which include their insurances. “It is our hope that these actions, along with the support from recently passed federal legislation, will minimize the financial impact to our employees and Bath Community Hospital during this difficult time,” said Cara Major, Executive Director of Human Resources and Support Services.
Landreth stated, “Our staff is the reason why people choose Bath Community Hospital. During this time, protecting their health, safety, and jobs is paramount so we can continue providing great care in the future. As conditions are changing quickly, we are prioritizing some operations to place resources where they are needed most. We must respond to these financial challenges while taking care of our people and protecting our future.”
In addition, the facility is closing their walk-in clinic hours at both the Hot Springs and Covington locations. They will continue to schedule acute patients at both clinics and continue to ask that patients call before coming to the facility so they can screen patients and prepare for their arrival. Also, the Hot Springs Pharmacy will now be closed on Saturdays starting April 11th until this pandemic is over.
“Our communities are relying on us to be steady and focused. Our staff is prepared to respond to this crisis as cases increase in the area. Our employees and patients wellbeing are a top priority and our overall goal is to remain here to service this community,’ said Landreth.