COVID-19 Impacts OMG Workforce

March 25, 2020

Last week, Oregon Medical Group put into place a series of new protocols intended to reduce or eliminate potential coronavirus exposures in its waiting rooms and clinic offices. The temporary model canceled all preventive care visits and shifted all but a small share of patient visits to phone-based. Only the most critical services are being provided in-person at our clinics.

The move, though essential, has had significant financial impact. With office visits down as much as seventy percent from usual, revenue is also down. The need for work associated with office visits plummeted and has impacted every aspect of our daily operations.

That combination is forcing OMG to furlough a portion of its workforce. The furloughs are temporary, and the company will continue to cover health insurance for all furloughed employees. Positions that are affected range from clinic staff to central office staff. In some cases, the furloughs are voluntary; those who are more vulnerable to the virus or who are caretakers for older adults sought the status. But for most, despite its inevitability, it is a bitter pill to swallow.

“This is a difficult time for all of us. To ask that patients stay away unless they are extremely ill conflicts with all we are trained to do. But in this case, it was the right thing to do,” says OMG CEO Karen Weiner, MD. “As a company, furloughing staff is painful. And unfortunately, many of us in our community are learning that right now. We want to create jobs, not cut jobs.”

Furlough notices will be issued at the clinic level beginning March 26. The return-to-work details will depend on the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.

We hope you understand the importance of taking action across the organization; tackling these difficult conversations is the way to make sure Oregon Medical Group survives this pandemic to continue serving our Eugene-Springfield community and all of Lane County for many decades to come.