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Sarasota Memorial Hospital To Furlough Employees Due To $16 Million Revenue Shortfall

aerial shot of large white hospital
Sarasota Memorial Hospital

Sarasota Memorial Hospital said Friday it will have to temporarily furlough some staff, due to a revenue shortfall from coronavirus.

The hospital lost $16 million in March as elective surgeries were canceled to make room for COVID-19 patients, and officials expect to lose more money in April and May.

“This was an extremely difficult decision, and one that we did not make lightly,” CEO David Verinder said in a letter to employees.

“As the health care safety net for the region, we must do all we can to continue fulfilling that critical role in the weeks ahead and for the long-term.” 

It was not immediately clear how many employees would be affected. The hospital said plans will take shape in the coming days, and will include pay cuts for senior leaders.

The hospital, with 839 beds, currently has 28 patients with COVID-19. Five people have died from coronavirus there. And nine hospital employees who tested positive are being monitored at home.

"The health system has had to redirect funds, resources and equipment to respond to the pandemic, planning for surge needs, purchasing additional supplies, and preparing and staffing an increasing number of isolation rooms throughout the hospital," said a hospital statement.

Other cost cutting measures include temporarily suspending any patient services and projects that are not critical at this time, it said.  

Sarasota Memorial Hospital, which is government-owned, reports a staff of more than 6,400. It's one of the county's largest employers. 

I cover health and K-12 education – two topics that have overlapped a lot since the pandemic began.
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