Intermountain plans staffing and benefits cuts to deal with $435 million in coronavirus losses

(Leah Hogsten | Tribune file photo) l-r Dr. Dixie Harris, Dr. RJ Bunnell, Dr. Paul Krakovitz and Dr. Harland Hayes, all members of Intermountain Healthcare Team that recently returned from New York City after assisting with ongoing COVID-19 care, shared their experiences at a press briefing, May 6, 2020 at the Intermountain Transformation Center.

Intermountain Healthcare did not end up cutting employees’ take-home pay as it had earlier warned — but the Utah hospital system says it is cutting 401K match contributions and reducing staff by not replacing vacancies.

"During the pandemic, Intermountain has been able to maintain the usual pay of virtually all its employees by temporarily redeploying those whose jobs have been affected by the slowdown in hospital admissions and clinic visits," Intermountain wrote in a news statement Monday.

Intermountain’s revenue has dropped nearly $435 million after suspending a number of surgeries, clinic visits and inpatient admissions from March to May in order to reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission within health care facilities, according to the statement.

"With many medical services resuming in mid-May and June, these trends have begun to turn around, but Intermountain is still seeing fewer patients than usual at its hospitals and clinics," the statement read.

Intermountain is pausing 401K match contributions "for at least the second half of this year," according to the statement.

As employees leave positions, Intermountain also will only replace those “determined to be critical for the delivery of care.”

The hospital system also is reviewing planned construction projects and other "major expenditures."

But Intermountain has not laid off, furloughed or cut take-home pay for employees, according to the statement.

Instead, some employees with reduced workloads "staffed hospital and clinic entrances to provide screenings to people who enter Intermountain facilities, they staffed 25 drive-thru COVID-19 testing sites, they staffed a free community mental health hotline, they supported Intermountain’s telehealth services, and 100 of them traveled to New York City to help hospitals there," the statement read.

Staff who couldn’t be deployed in other capacities were given four weeks of “COVID pay,” which is equal to their normal compensation, and were allowed to let their paid-time-off balances go into the negative, Intermountain said.

Intermountain Healthcare is one of Utah’s largest employers, according to state jobs data.