Covenant Medical Center is in the process of cutting $40 million out of its current expense budget, and Wednesday night NewsChannel 11 has learned that layoffs are being considered as part of those budget cuts.
Sources tell us that as many as 259 employees may lose their jobs, but Covenant Medical Center says it cannot confirm that number. A spokesman for Covenant did say that for the past 3 weeks the hospital has been in the process of cutting back on expenses like equipment and supplies.
Covenant's expense budget has shrunk by $40 million due to a number of factors, but mainly because reimbursements from programs like Medicare are not making up for the actual costs of medical procedures.
Covenant says possible layoffs would in all likelihood not affect patient care workers. But Covenant says all other departments are susceptible. Public Relations Director Eddie Owens says no layoffs will happen this week, but he can't speak past Friday.
One more note, Covenant says the new $10 million emergency room has nothing to do with any of this. Construction projects are paid for out of capital dollars from profits, this budget shortfall is a result of a decrease in day to day operational dollars.