Mizell implements cutbacks

Published 12:05 am Thursday, May 9, 2013

Mizell Memorial Hospital will implement mandatory cutbacks of employee hours and a 10 percent cut to salaried employees beginning next Sunday.

MMH CEO Jana Wyatt said this procedure is typical during months when the volumes are down.

“When the height of flu season is over, we don’t see the patient volume we normally do,” she said. “We are just trying to do the best thing we can to control our costs when our reimbursements will be inherently low.”

Cutbacks will run through the end of September, and employees were notified last week, she said.

For local residents who utilize the hospital, she said they can expect the same patient-to-staff ratio as always.

“This is something we evaluate every day,” she said. “We make sure we have a good patient-to-staff ratio based on the patient volume.”

Still, on normal days, the non-clinical components of the hospital such as billing, administration and the like are not affected as they are in this round of cutbacks, she said.

Wyatt said this isn’t the first summer that the hospital has implemented the procedure, but it is the earliest.

“There may have been a year where we missed doing this,” she said.

In July 2010, the hospital implemented a similar reduced workweek for a three-month period, and cut salaried employees.

Unlike then, when the hospital was evaluating the hospital’s financial future, including grants, mergers and partnerships with other health care organizations, Wyatt said the hospital was only implementing the cutback to be proactive.

“We have no intentions of closing Mizell Memorial Hospital,” she said. “This is a proactive measure, and we don’t want to get into a situation where that is the option, but as of now, we have no threat of closing.”

Wyatt said the community can help out by utilizing the hospital’s services when needed and at all possible.