Mount Nittany Health will restructure its administrative and management staff because of ‘financial and operational impacts’ from the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in the elimination of about 50 jobs, the State College-based health system announced on Wednesday.
The reductions are expected to occur over the next three weeks. A spokesperson declined to say which departments would be affected, but confirmed they would not be temporary furloughs.
‘We are very grateful for those who have made such important contributions to our organization and to the community over the years and during this public health crisis,” Mount Nittany Health President and CEO Kathleen Rhine said in a statement. “This was a difficult decision, but we must respond to the significant impact COVID-19 has had, and will continue to have, on our organization.”
A significant decline in patient volumes over the past three months — a situation faced by other health systems — has resulted in a $30 million revenue shortfall for Mount Nittany Health, according to a news release. Volume declines of between 50 to 80 percent have affected all patient care areas, including inpatient admissions, emergency department and outpatient visits and surgeries.
The health system ‘is extending support to affected employees,’ according to the release.
Rhine said the system is reopening non-emergency and elective services in phases, with a variety of measures in place. They include increased time between surgical procedures, fewer patients in waiting areas, universal screening and masking, and special cleaning procedures. Mount Nittany Physician Group has also introduced tele-medicine services, and providers are working with patients to determine which appointments and procedures should be scheduled now.
“We face the same challenges as other healthcare systems across the country,” Rhine said. “We will continue to monitor operations and adapt in order to ensure we remain well positioned to serve the community.”