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West Tennessee Healthcare had an 18 million dollar loss due to COVID-19

West Tennessee Healthcare saw an 18 million dollar loss this past month due to coronavirus.

Officials say they started seeing a decrease in patients in March and after orders were put in place to cancel elective procedures they lost more money, but they still had to get ready for COVID-19 patients.

“At the same time our revenue was declining we also had an increase in expenses because we were buying more supplies, buying equipment like ventilators, gearing up", says West Tennessee Healthcare official, Amy Garner.

With the decrease in revenue and increase in expenses they made the decision to gradually furlough employees and close departments to save money.

"[This is a] temporary situation we hope, we are constantly evaluating the financial impact of all this. Our goal is to bring our employees back as soon as possible", adds Garner.

One concern of the decision to furlough nearly 1200 employees fully and partially across the system is their ability to respond to a possible surge in COVID-19 patients.

“We’ve got capacity right now, we’ve got equipment, we have staff members we can call back to work, so we are prepared for any surge if we see that", says Garner.

Officials with the system say they may see federal and state financial relief that could help during this time.

In Jackson for 39 News, I’m Imani Williams.

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