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SALT LAKE CITY — While many health care workers are putting in extra hours to respond to the coronavirus pandemic, some Intermountain Healthcare physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners will face reduced pay starting in June, officials confirm.
Physicians whose workloads have decreased significantly “may have their compensation adjusted in June,” Intermountain Healthcare spokesman Daron Cowley said.
“This is a dynamic and challenging environment that changes each day,” Cowley said. “We are continuously assessing the situation and will revisit our plans regularly.”
Cowley said some employees received a scheduled annual raise in April and no employees have had their pay cut to date.
The change comes as COVID-19 cases in Utah continue to increase. As of Monday, the state had 806 confirmed cases and four people had died of the disease.
Hospitals have faced many changes amid the pandemic. Just weeks ago, Intermountain Healthcare postponed non-urgent surgeries amid the outbreak.
“Intermountain is doing everything possible to keep employees working,” Cowley said.
Some employees have been reassigned to different roles and will be paid the same. For employees who aren’t able to be reassigned, they will be compensated for work missed because of the novel coronavirus up to four weeks.
Paid time off can also be used after four weeks, Cowley said.
Once all paid time off has been used, employees can go into a negative paid-time-off balance up to 80 hours.
In a video posted to Intermountain’s YouTube account, Dr. Mark Briesacher, chief physician executive at IHC, said a global pandemic is a dynamic and challenging environment.
"We’re mindful of the personal impact on everyone, especially on the thousands of physicians and caregivers whose daily work has been postponed, canceled or seen a decline,” Briesacher says in the video.
"This is a critical time for physicians to be flexible to the changing needs created by COVID-19," he said. "We're doing that through temporary measures for redeployment and compensation."
Intermountain will be amending compensation guidelines and contracts to create that flexibility, Briesacher said. Some areas have seen reductions in clinical work by 30% to 50%; the organization will be reviewing its salary models in addition to rerouting workers to high-need areas, he said.
Briesacher said Intermountain would be transparent and review its compensation changes "about every two months."