Howard Brown Health’s Statement Regarding Commitment to Sustain Patient Care and Address 2022-23 Revenue Gap
(Chicago, IL, December 3, 2022) – A revenue shortfall of $12 million (5.3%) is an urgent priority for Howard Brown Health’s leadership to proactively address and help ensure can continue to serve the thousands of patients who rely on our critical, life-saving healthcare services for years to come. Today, Howard Brown continued to work collaboratively and in good faith with the workforce union represented by the Illinois Nurses Association (INA) to address the revenue gap.
The agency’s revenue shortfall since the beginning of the new fiscal year (July 1, 2022) is the result of changes to the 340B pharmacy program. Since 2020, 18 pharmaceutical manufacturers—including Eli Lilly, Merck, and Gilead—have restricted or eliminated access to 340B priced drugs through contract pharmacy partners, with eight manufacturers specifically targeting Federally Qualified Health Center contract pharmacies like Howard Brown Health. These changes are putting a strain on the agency’s finances, requiring a reduction in operating expenses. Howard Brown has no intention of eliminating services and is committed to ensuring the reduction in expenses do not impact the Center’s quality, culturally compassionate approach to healthcare.
Howard Brown’s leadership has been exploring multiple mechanisms to help close the revenue gap, including non-personnel cost-cutting measures, strategies to boost revenue generated from medical visits, and other efficiencies such as the implementation of a new electronic medical record. While a reduction in workforce is required to close the revenue gap, no positions will be affected until after Jan. 1, 2023.
As part of Howard Brown’s commitment to honor workers represented by a union, it first submitted to the union representatives a proposal for a voluntary separation program on Nov. 19, with a second enhanced proposal on Nov. 22. Included in that voluntary separation proposal was one week’s salary per year of service, with a minimum of two weeks, healthcare benefits including the Employee Assistance Program through the end of January, and no challenge to unemployment claims. Unfortunately, the union did not accept the proposal, so the voluntary separation offer has not been rolled out to union-represented staff. The voluntary separation program was rolled out to 36 non-union staff on Tuesday, November 29. This group of staff have until the end of the day on December 5, 2022
to accept the proposal.
Howard Brown’s Leadership is committed to keeping employees updated and informed. They held a virtual all-staff meeting on Tuesday to provide employees with information about the financial challenges and to answer questions.
Howard Brown previously posted the following related public statements:
Wren O’Kelley, Communications Manager