Springfield Medical Care Systems (SMCS) announces its plan to restore employee salaries and wages effective May 5, 2019 as it has exceeded an important milestone – the reduction of its operating budget by more than $6.5 million on an annualized basis. Through implementation of a series of expense reduction strategies, including workforce restructuring, salary and wage reductions, a new emergency services team, and the planned closure of its Childbirth Unit, the health system has begun the process of turning its financial picture around.
Continuing its ongoing efforts to balance revenue and expenses, it is also holding true to its promise to staff upon implementation of the painful, but necessary, process of wage reductions. Mike Halstead, Interim Chief Executive Officer for Springfield Hospital stated, “We explained to staff that, as soon as we possibly could, wage restoration would be a top priority.” While the organization still has work to do in terms of service line review and planning, it recognizes and appreciates the critical importance of a talented, skilled workforce. “Our entire staff’s contributions are essential to patient care and a strong future for this organization,” Halstead continued.
While SMCS will likely post a loss at the end of its September 30, 2019 fiscal year, the financial improvement plans recently implemented have identified approximately $7M in expense reductions which will help stabilize the organization’s finances into the future.
Halstead reports that the process has been thorough and the search for cost savings continues throughout the organization, stating, “Our work is not over. This is a process of continuous improvement and a necessary operational strategy for any health system in today’s challenging environment.” He adds, “There will be no sacrifice in quality. High quality patient care remains mission critical and access to necessary services remains our first priority.”
That sentiment is shared by Joshua Dufresne, Acting Chief Executive Officer for SMCS. “It’s important to acknowledge that a great deal of the credit for this effort goes to our staff who has worked extremely hard to help us find efficiencies and make very difficult choices. We are grateful for their ongoing dedication to our organization and to the communities we serve.”
The Board of Directors also expresses their appreciation to the community for its past support by seeking healthcare services from SMCS, and looks forward to continuing to meet the communities’ healthcare needs into the future.