Providence workers facing cutbacks during COVID-19 crisis


SPOKANE, Wash. — Health care workers at Providence are facing reduced work hours in response to lower patient volumes because of COVID-19.

Since the pandemic, revenue has dropped 40%, if not more in some areas, according to Beth Hegde, communications director for Providence.

This is mainly due to increased costs and lower patient volumes at the hospitals. Providence postponed non-emergent surgeries and other services to conserve PPE. In the process, Hegde said revenue plummeted.

Providence is planning to restart surgeries as soon as Gov. Inslee gives the go-ahead.

“Until patient volumes bring us to pre-COVID staffing levels, we are working to reduce costs,” it reads in a release.

Hegde said that includes reducing work for some caregivers in units with lower patient volumes, as well as closing 40% of open positions, and adjusting start dates for new employees. Staff will also face decreased overtime and the company is suspending all travel.

The company plans to furlough some employees by May 17, though it is unclear how many will receive notices.

Providence employs 120,000 people around the country. Some of those workers are at hospitals like Sacred Heart and Holy Family in Spokane.

“We do not have immediate plans for additional actions,” it reads in the release. “We will continue to evaluate as we prepare to resume non-emergent surgeries.”