Local hospitals struggle as elective surgeries are put on hold

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BINGHAMTON, NY – An organization that represents hospitals in New York says the state ban on elective surgeries is having a devastating effect on hospital finances.

The Healthcare Association of New York State wrote a letter to Governor Cuomo last week asking the state to prioritize allowing hospitals to resume non-urgent medical procedures as the state plans to unpause the economy.

HANYS says many hospitals outside of COVID-19 hotspots have had to start furloughing staff as patient volumes have declined.

The industry group says many of these facilities currently have many empty beds and are under severe financial strain.

County Executive Garnar says the hospital industry needs support.

“The most important entity here that needs help is the hospitals. The hospitals are keeping people alive. They’re helping people. They’re certainly helping the COVID patients. They really need financial help and I really do hope that they get it,” says Garnar.

Lourdes tells NewsChannel 34 that it is doing everything it can to protect the pay of its associates during the disruption, with a commitment to no layoffs.

That includes reassigning some to its Ascension Online Care platform and having others work from home.

he Lourdes Foundation also has also established a fund to assist any employees going through a financial hardship.

NewsChannel 34 reached out to UHS for comment but did not receive a reply.

See the full statement from Lourdes below:

Lourdes is doing everything we can to protect the pay of associates during this time of disruption, including a commitment to no layoffs, full salary continuation and a variety of pay protection and associate support programs. Our Employee Assistance Program offers free virtual counseling to manage stress and provide resources to help with household income disruptions or other financial concerns.

The Ascension Ministry and Mission Fund was developed to support education and will now have an additional focus of providing for associates who face financial hardship as a result of the pandemic. There is also a financial hardship program that is being funded by the Lourdes Foundation to support our associates. We are committed to continuing each of these for as long as possible. 

Lourdes has shifted many of our primary care and other non-emergency providers to Ascension Online Care, our virtual care platform, in an effort to continue to provide this level of care to our community.

Those associates who are able to perform their work duties remotely have been provided the technology and are working from home.

Additionally, we’re creating opportunities for associates in the hospital to fill other needs.

For example, since we have temporarily limited public entrances, we have reallocated staff to these areas to provide additional way-finding and security resources to help patients and visitors find what they need.

Our Athletic Trainers have refocused their skills and established a temporary school-age childcare center for local healthcare workers who need child care. 

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