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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Restricted Points of Entry Into Mee Memorial Hospital

In our continued efforts to stay current with the always evolving local, state, and federal regulations we are further restricting entrance to Mee Memorial King City Campus starting at 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 18.

PLEASE SEE OUR POINTS OF ENTRY PLAN BELOW:

HOSPITAL AND CLINIC TRAFFIC

  • All vehicles and pedestrians will be required to use the Canal Street entrance closest to the Emergency Department (attached picture below). This is the closest entrance to the 101 Highway Canal Street ramp.
  • The Canal Street entrance will have a guard stationed in our emergency services trailer.
  • All vehicles and pedestrians will be required to check in at the guard station who will confirm services and direct accordingly. 
  • Hospital traffic will be directed to the ED entrance, the front entrance will be closed.
  • Clinic traffic will be directed to either the Adult Medicine Clinic or King City Clinic.
  • Employees must have ID to access campus.
  • Employees will still be able to access the keypad-controlled side hospital entrance closest to King City Clinic.
  • ALL OTHER ENTRANCES WILL BE BLOCKED BY BARRICADES.

DIALYSIS AND PT TRAFFIC

  • All vehicles and pedestrians heading to the dialysis and Physical Therapy/Rehab Services building will be enter the entrance closest to the 7/11 (please see attached picture below). This entrance will be unmanned for the moment. 
  • ALL OTHER ENTRANCES WILL BE BLOCKED BY BARRICADES.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response Measures at Mee Memorial Healthcare System

King City, CA, March 16, 2020 — Robert Valladares, MD Chief Medical Officer at Mee Memorial Healthcare System, today issued the following statement about Mee Memorial’s response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak:

In addition to following coronavirus (COVID-19) guidelines from the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Mee Memorial Healthcare System has enacted strict protocols for patients presenting to our facilities with respiratory symptoms or a fever, as well as a restricted visitor policy.

For patients

  • If any respiratory symptoms or fever symptoms are present, patients are urged to call ahead before entering the facilities.
  • All patients that present to our facility will be screened upon registering. If there is concern for COVID-19 infection, patients will be given a surgical mask and be isolated in a separate room for evaluation by a healthcare professional.

For visitors

  • All visitors must be 16 years of age or older.
  • Only one visitor per patient per day is allowed in the hospital.
  • Patients and visitors may only enter through the hospital main entrance.
  • Emergency Department entrance is to be used for ED patients only.
  • Waiting room is for patients only.
  • No visitors are allowed in the following areas: Skilled Nursing Facility, Dialysis, or Rehab Services.
  • No visitors at any time with any respiratory symptoms including, cough, shortness of breath or a fever.

Potential visitors will be screened at hospital entrances and all visitors will sign in and out. As the health, safety, and security of our team and community remain our top priority, and in order to stay healthy, please ensure continuous and efficient hand washing occurs, avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands, cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or in the crook of your elbow, stay home if ill, and clean/disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

The well-being of our healthcare providers and staff as well as our most vulnerable populations in the community remain our highest priority in this challenging but not insurmountable time. We will continue sharing more COVID-19 updates in the coming days via our Facebook (MeeMemorial) and Instagram (MeeMemorialHealthcare) accounts, as well as through the news media.

Advice for Members of the Public

We urge people to stay vigilant and take preventative actions as they would for any respiratory virus. There is no vaccine to prevent novel coronavirus (COVID-19) infection. For a list of precautions that members of the public should be taking, we recommend the web page being maintained by the CDC at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov. The CDC is updating vital information on its website daily, in English and Spanish.

About Mee Memorial Healthcare System

Mee Memorial Hospital is a not-for-profit community hospital and is the primary health care resource for residents of Southern Monterey County.

The 73-bed hospital is the core of the Mee Memorial Healthcare System, which also includes comprehensive medical clinics in King City and in Greenfield.