Kalispell Regional Healthcare Furloughing Roughly 600 Employees

Hospital says COVID-19 pandemic causing steep revenue losses due to halted services, patient volume declines

By Myers Reece
Kalispell Regional Healthcare. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

Kalispell Regional Healthcare announced today that it will furlough roughly 600 employees beginning April 15 due to steep revenue declines resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hospital executives, physicians and executive directors will also take reductions in their salaries, effective immediately.

KRH officials say the actions are necessary because revenue losses are projected to exceed $16 million per month, “which could jeopardize the organization’s ability to serve the long-term health needs of our community.”

The hospital didn’t immediately specify what types of employees or departments will be impacted by the furloughs.

An April 13 press release noted that KRH, like other health-care organizations across the country, has strengthened COVID-19 clinical teams, support staff and resources “needed to deliver life-saving care and ensure patient and staff safety as a result of the pandemic.” But the pandemic response has also led to the halting of many services “for the health and safety of our community,” the hospital stated.

“The compounding effect of the loss of patient volumes, cancellation of elective surgeries, and the closure of entire service lines has had a tremendous financial impact on KRH,” President and CEO Craig Lambrecht said in a statement. “Cost cutting efforts have been underway but unfortunately those efforts alone cannot remedy the significance of these losses a time when we must safeguard a clinical stabilization program.”

The hospital said it will begin the “necessary process of furloughing and reducing hours/shifts for certain employees,” while continuing to offer furloughed employees health-insurance benefits until Aug. 31 of this year.

Additionally, KRH will “facilitate access to other wage-replacement alternatives, including enhanced unemployment benefits and the KRH Foundation’s Employee Crisis Fund, which provides financial support for employees in need.”

“Over the coming days, managers will be working with all of those affected by furlough or reduced hours to assist them with the transition,” the hospital stated.

“I am confident that we will ramp back up quickly once it is safe to do so,” Lambrecht said. “It is my hope that everyone can weather this uncertain time and emerge safe and well.”

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