Coronavirus

PETERBOROUGH — Monadnock Community Hospital has furloughed 100 employees, or about 20 percent of its workforce, because of the financial strain caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In March, the hospital lost $1.7 million, according to a news release Friday, and it is projected to lose between $3 and $4 million monthly — or a total of $24 million by the end of September.

By eliminating elective procedures and scaling back on outpatient visits to help flatten the curve of the viral disease, the hospital’s patient volumes declined by about 60 percent, the release says, leading to the financial problems.

The hospital took several steps to stabilize its finances before implementing furloughs, the release says, including delaying projects, reevaluating existing agreements for services and applying for federal and state loans.

In addition to the 90-day furloughs announced Friday, senior leadership will take a 10 percent pay cut, and physicians, directors and managers will take a 5 percent cut.

All types of positions at the hospital were subject to the furloughs, depending on where the employee need is, according to spokeswoman Laura Gingras.

Everyone affected will continue to receive their health insurance benefits, with the hospital paying for the employee’s portion of the premiums during their furlough period. Employees can also use earned vacation time to make up for the lost hours, the release says.

“Every hospital in the country is dealing with these challenges. We must be very cautious about managing our financial resources as tightly as possible so that we can sustain the future of MCH and preserve the healthcare services our community depends upon for the long term,” President and CEO Cyndee McGuire said in the release. “It has been very difficult to make this decision that impacts our dedicated employees.”

Olivia Belanger can be reached at 352-1234, extension 1439, or obelanger@keenesentinel.com. Follow her on Twitter @OBelangerKS.