Facing Coronavirus-Related Revenue Declines, Mee Memorial Acts to Preserve Essential Services

Public Reminded Hospital and Clinics Are Open for In-Person and Remote Care

King City, CA, April 30, 2020 — The coronavirus/COVID-19 crisis continues to take a toll on revenues at Mee Memorial Healthcare System, where patient volumes have declined significantly: 59 percent fewer patients visited in April, with a corresponding decline in revenue. .
Mee Memorial has pursued all avenues of assistance available to it through the CARES Act and other Congressional and federal actions, but a significant funding gap remains. As a result, Mee Memorial’s leadership team is making cutbacks to preserve both essential and basic health care services for residents of South Monterey County now and in the future.

Mee Memorial’s hospital and clinics are available for appointments and treatment, having taken recommended steps for patient and staff safety. The facilities have the capacity to safely provide a range of healthcare needs, whether in-person or remotely via telehealth.

“We’re concerned that patients may be neglecting their health needs out of fear of contracting or spreading COVID-19, and we want to make sure they know they have safe treatment and consulting options,” said Rena Salamacha, Interim CEO of Mee Memorial Healthcare System. “It’s important to keep following all public guidelines issued by the state and local authorities, but we remain an essential service here, providing both personal and telehealth services to the community.”

To address the severe revenue declines due to COVID-19, Mee’s cutbacks include:

  • Layoffs of 55 staff members
  • A hiring freeze for positions considered not essential to COVID-19 response or the immediate viability of Mee Memorial Healthcare System
  • Salary reductions
  • Suspension of annual merit increases, which had been scheduled to go into effect in fiscal year 2020
  • Temporary suspension of selected specialty services, effective April 30, 2020, which are experiencing low demand, including Labor and Delivery, and Cardiology.

“These decisions are never made lightly,” said Rena Salamacha. “We must place patient care first, but we deeply regret the hardship on laid-off staff and their families.”

The cutbacks are effective immediately. They will not affect emergency room services, direct bedside nursing care, or investments in PPE and life-saving equipment as needed for COVID-19 treatment.

Temporarily suspended services are available at other area hospitals and patients will be provided with referrals or additional information on request.

Telehealth sessions take place by phone or web video conference and can be arranged by calling (831) 385-7100 for Mee Memorial Hospital or the nearby King City clinic, or (831) 674-0112 for the Albert and Donna Oliveira Mee Memorial Clinic in Greenfield.
 

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