MUSC Lancaster System Announces COVID-19 Related Changes

LANCASTER, S.C. — The Medical University of South Carolina Health System has announced changes to the services provided in Lancaster and Chester due to the impacts of of the COVID-19 virus.

MUSC officials say they are attempting to diminish financial damage and maintain short-term and long-term viability during the pubic health crisis.

Officials say Chester Medical Center is not closing and outpatient surgery, emergency services, Chester Nursing Center, and ancillary support services of those departments remain open.

The changes to service for the MUSC Health Lancaster System include:

  • MUSC – Chester Medical Center will not admit med/surg patients for the immediate future. This is effective today. For several months now, both hospitals placed patients in available beds via an internal system called the Admit Transfer Center (ATC). We will continue bed placement for Chester’s patients who need med/surg beds through this system. As always, the patient’s choice is taken into consideration.
  • Transition 80% of ambulatory/clinic visits to a telehealth platform
  • Reduce purchased and contractual services
  • Reduce supply utilization to match volume and critical needs. COVID-19 supply ordering
    continues as needed
  • Delay capital expenditures
  • Adjust and realign workforce to sustain essential services with compensation reduction and temporary layoffs. The Lancaster System will temporarily lay off approximately 60 care team members effective at 5pm on Tuesday, April 7, 2020.
  • As services increase so that additional staffing is needed, care team members who are experiencing temporary layoffs will be called to return to work
  • These modifications are intended thru the end of June 2020 All senior and director level leadership will experience a salary reduction
  •  Non-patient care hourly positions will move to a 32 hour work week
  •  Clinical hourly positions will flex according to patient census
  •  The following entities are temporarily closing:
  • o MUSC Health – Therapeutic Services – Lancaster & Chester (outpatient physical
    therapy)
    o MUSC Health – Outpatient Imaging Center – Lancaster (outpatient radiology)
    o Cardiac/Pulmonary Rehab at MUSC Health – Lancaster Medical Center
    o The Behavioral Health Unit at MUSC Health – Lancaster Medical Center

“Obviously, decisions such as these are never easy to make, especially when our care team members are considered family and we worry about each other’s personal well-being” said Page Vaughan, CEO of MUSC Health Lancaster System. “Every effort will be made to ensure our care team members have assistance in connecting with internal and external resources during this temporary time frame. We all pray and hope for the best for our MUSC family and our patients as we aggressively work to conserve resources to keep our hospital’s overall system strong and intact to provide healthcare to the those we serve during and after this pandemic.”