Companies like Americore and EmpowerHMS are missing payroll at several hospitals across the country. Americore’s Ellwood City Hospital in Pennsylvania missed payroll multiple times over the last year and, more recently, has been shortchanging workers’ paychecks by only giving them minimum wage. Missouri-based EmpowerHMS has also been late in meeting obligations including payrolls, rents, and utility bills at facilities across the country, most notably in Midwestern states such as Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas, and Oklahoma. Their facilities have had to reduce services and lay off employees, some closing their doors indefinitely.
Healthcare used to be a stable and reputable career field. Now with rural hospitals at an all-time high of 1 in 5 facilities at risk of closure and an increase in instances of missed payrolls, the future of healthcare jobs is perilous and leaves a lot of workers at risk. With EmpowerHMS, it seems to boil down to a systemwide management disruption, as these financial troubles come amid a legal investigation into their lab services. Across other hospitals, however, lack of reimbursement from CMS is often cited as the predominant factor in these missed payments.
Is this a result of a declining healthcare market or a mismanagement problem at a corporate level? Is it limited to only one/a few health systems or is it becoming a trend we will see more of? And finally, what will healthcare workers do if this trend of missed payrolls continues? The search for answers is ongoing, and we hope to gain clarity soon.