Noyes furloughs dozens amid revenue cliff

An exterior view of Nicholas H. Noyes Memorial Hospital, Dansville.

DANSVILLE – Noyes Health is furloughing staff after revenues fell about 50 percent this past month due to coronavirus preparations that saw Noyes Hospital in Dansville and its other facilities curtail outpatient and other procedures.

“In normal times, hospitals, particularly in rural and semi-rural areas, operate with razor-thin margins. Clearly, the preparation we’ve done to be able to accept and treat COVID-positive patients and COVID-suspect patients, along with reductions in non-urgent visits and procedures, has led to a decrease in revenue,” said Mary Sue Dehn, Noyes’ public relations director, in a statement Friday. “Noyes, like other hospitals in the area, has had to make difficult decisions in light of these shortfalls in revenue.”

Staff are being furloughed across all Noyes departments on a rolling basis. Furloughs are for one or two weeks, though some employees have elected to be furloughed for longer periods of time, said Dehn. Employees are not paid while furloughed, but retain their health insurance. Furloughs are being reviewed weekly to determine if staff can come back to work.

“The hope is that we get everyone back to work as soon as possible,” said Dehn, who acknowledged no firm end date for the measure.

Last week, Dehn said “somewhere between 70 and 80” employees were out on furlough – about 14 percent of its overall workforce. Noyes has facilities in Dansville, Geneseo and Canasaraga in Allegany County.

Staff “from the managerial level up to the Noyes administrative team” have taken voluntarily pay cuts ranging from 10 to 20 percent while furloughs are in effect, said Dehn.

Noyes started implementing measures designed to free up resources to prepare for a potential influx of patients suffering from COVID-19 in mid-March. Those measures included visitor restrictions and pushing elective surgeries and other medical appointments that weren’t immediately necessary - a regular check-up, or cancer screening test, for example - to future dates.

Those safety measures remain in place at the hospital, which will soon begin reaching out to patients to schedule postponed surgeries and procedures in anticipation of resuming programs on a rolling basis.

“Our patients have put off needed care,” said Noyes President and CEO Amy Pollard, “We want to assure them that it’s safe to seek the help they need and that we are ready to help them.”

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