HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - “We’re estimating about a $100 million impact.”
Running a hospital doesn’t come cheap, and just because elective procedures had stopped, the bills did not.
“We run a very fixed cost intensive business. So when you look around the campus and see the building and the staff and CT scanners and ER standing by to take care of you. All of that is very expensive whether or not patients are here,” Huntsville Hospital Health System Chief Operating Officer Jeff Samz said.
Samz tells us that’s the main reason the two-thousand employees were furloughed last month.
But as of this week, those procedures are taking place again.
“If you have pain, there’s a reason you need to have your surgery. So while they’re elective procedures, many people need to get those things done. I would assure the public we have the COVID patients and the non COVID patients segregated. So we’ve taken great care to make sure if you’re here, it’s separate,” Samz said.
And the return of those surgeries means the return of hundreds of employees. Last month we told you around 2,000 employees at the hospital system were furloughed.
“The furlough related largely to not having the elective procedures. So many, many of those employees have come back to work this week. The vast majority of those came back to work on Monday and we’re thrilled to have them back in the hospital working with us,” he said.
Samz is urging everyone to keep taking washing your hands and social distancing seriously, so we don’t end up back in the same situation.
“I think as we go back to opening up society, it’s probably more important to distance and wear the masks and do these things we want to do safely and take advantage of the success we have,” Samz said.