UAMS Hospital Announces Wage Freeze

by Gwen Moritz  on Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2009 4:36 pm  

With all of this growth we have encountered some financial challenges.  We must operate within available resources and, at the present, that means we must reduce expenses.  For the last several months, Dr. Wilson and I have been discussing the economic issues we are facing as an institution and developing a plan to address them.  The first quarter of the current fiscal year, the institution ran an operational budget deficit.  The majority of this is attributable to hospital expenses outstripping revenues.  

While patient revenue is up, labor and supply costs are up more.  There are multiple factors contributing to the imbalance, including a shift in payor mix, increased emergency room volume, and other causes related to the impact of the recession on our patients and families.  This is exacerbated by UAMS' $2.2 million state budget reduction and the possibility of more cuts if state revenues continue to decline.

We have communicated with UA President B. Alan Sugg and the UA Board of Trustees regarding our financial strategy for the future.  To address the shortfall in clinical income vs. expense, hospital Director Dick Pierson and his leadership team have identified opportunities for reduction in personnel and non-personnel expenses and are implementing a cost reduction plan immediately. 

Campus wide, we have involved senior leadership in implementing cost reductions, including a strict hiring review, not filling positions where work can be absorbed by existing staff, reducing supply utilization, travel costs and other incremental actions. 

With your help, we will be good stewards of our resources, doing well and doing good at the same time.  We must never forget that the people of Arkansas depend on us to shoulder the burden of society's illness today and prepare for tomorrow.  This institution works because of you - the faculty, the staff, the students, the administrators - and your support of our common greater purpose.

Dan Rahn, Chancellor



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