Jefferson Health reduces pay for top execs, cuts at least 500 unfilled jobs

By KYW Newsradio 1060

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Jefferson Health is reducing its workforce and making other cutbacks to address financial losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

In an internal email obtained by KYW Newsradio, Stephen Klasko, Thomas Jefferson University president and Jefferson Health CEO, told his staff there will be a “significant” reduction in pay for top executives, a hold on employer contributions to retirement plans through 2021, and a decision to not fill between 500 and 600 full-time positions, which are currently vacant.

He said the cost-cutting moves will be a shared responsibility.

The hospital network reported a loss of roughly $298 million for its 2020 fiscal year that ended in June.

The temporary suspension of employer contributions to retirement plans is expected to save Jefferson more than $140 million in 2021.

In a statement to KYW, Klasko said management took a “no expense is too much for our employees” approach with personal protective equipment and other measures, which drove up short-term expenses. He said officials also made a conscious decision to not furlough or lay off employees during the shutdown and COVID-19 surges in March and April.

Klasko said these efforts will save as many as 2,500 jobs.

Jefferson’s situation is similar to many other hospitals. According to a September report by the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania, hospitals across the commonwealth piled up a $5 billion shortfall between March and June, because they eliminated more lucrative elective surgeries and procedures to make room for a surge of coronavirus patients.