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Governor Mike DeWine announced needed cuts totaling $775 million to Ohio’s FY 2020 budget (ending June 30) as a result of decreased revenues due to COVID-19. These cuts will primarily be made to education and Medicaid, two systems which already have been stretched. As projected revenues continue to show a decline for months to come, additional

budget challenges are expected. Although budget cuts are never pleasant, when approached the right way, they can give us opportunities to look at things in a new light.

COVID-19 has most certainly brought an element of chaos to all of our lives, but maybe chaos can be a good thing. In her book, A Beautiful Mess, Danielle Strickland defines chaos as “an invitation to rearrange everything”. She goes on to say “…that without the chaos, nothing else would have been born from it.” Her message is that when embraced, chaos can allow us to transform broken systems, close the gaps of social and health disparities, and begin the process of repair in people’s lives.

So, what if we began looking at things through that lens? Could needed transformation come out of our current chaos? I’m already seeing examples of this. A friend sent me a link to a website created by four competing hospitals on the East Coast. These entities have joined forces to support their local communities by working together and sharing resources, all with a common goal of improving the lives of the people they serve. This was a great example of leaders being willing to break down barriers and look at new ways to collaborate. I’m seeing similar hope in my own community where competitors are willing to discuss nontraditional methods of joining forces to accomplish a common community goal.

If competitors can throw out the bureaucracy and work toward a unified outcome, we can do the same at the government level and use this time as an opportunity to re-engineer old, outdated processes and payment systems. COVID-19 has placed a glaring spotlight on both social and health disparities in our communities. As we look at how to finance programs in the future and where to focus resources, let’s use this as an opportunity to make impactful investments in things that will truly move the needle on improving the health and well-being of our communities. Our communities deserve our commitment to use the current chaos to develop something beautiful and lasting.

About achi

achi is a holistic care management company that lowers overall expenses by actively engaging people and connecting them to organizations to address the social determinants of health. Through innovative partnerships, cross-sector collaboration, and creative solutions, we equip organizations across multiple industries to educate the people they serve and connect them with resources to improve their lives from the ground up. By partnering with health systems, educational institutions and corporations, achi empowers lasting transformation in individual lives—resulting in an overall healthier population and data to transform our healthcare payment models. To learn more about achi and its mission, visit www.achi.solutions.

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I was talking to a friend today who is employed by a nonprofit I support and I asked about the impact COVID-19 was having on their organization. They are heavily reliant on volunteer groups for one of their programs and unfortunately, many of the groups (including mine) had to cancel or reschedule due to the travel and gathering restrictions.

That conversation got me thinking about the long-term effects for both their organization and the surrounding community due to the reduced volunteers. I quickly Googled “the impact of COVID-19 on Nonprofits” and not surprisingly, saw several articles about nonprofits going from focusing on sustainability to survivability. The article that impacted me the most was CNN’s opinion piece by John MacIntosh, Managing Partner of SeaChange Capital Partners. John ended his article discussing the importance of the nonprofit work, especially as we rebuild post-COVID-19, and challenged us to be better prepared in the future.

So, what does that mean in the context of furloughed employees, social determinants of health, corporations, and nonprofits? It comes back to why I started achi – to connect various business sectors to solve problems. Right now we have health systems and corporations needing to furlough employees to reduce expenses, and we have local nonprofits in need of volunteers to help continue their vital services in the community. The key is connecting the two and preparing both for a better future.

There is a three-way benefit to this approach. First, a furloughed employee may now have something purposeful to do and can continue to feel like they are contributing to the greater good. The health system, if a nonprofit, may be able to count some of the volunteer hours from employees (if they are remaining on payroll) towards their Community Benefit requirements. If the company is for-profit, they may be able to count the volunteer hours as a charitable donation to help offset income taxes. Either way, by incorporating this plan into the furlough process for employees, you help increase employee engagement and loyalty, thereby reducing costly employee turnover. Finally, for the nonprofit, it helps connect them to a potentially new corporate partner and can solidify local support by tapping into a new source of volunteers, which will help strengthen it for the future.

There can be good things that come out of this current crisis, even from hard decisions like furloughing employees. Let’s be the change and create some positive outcomes that benefit everyone and strengthen our communities for the future. Now is the perfect time to look at innovative solutions to current challenges.

For more information about ways achi can assist with your furloughed employees, please download our flyer.

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About achi

achi is a holistic care management company that lowers overall expenses by actively engaging people and connecting them to organizations to address the social determinants of health. Through innovative partnerships, cross-sector collaboration, and creative solutions, we equip organizations across multiple industries to educate the people they serve and connect them with resources to improve their lives from the ground up. By partnering with health systems, educational institutions and corporations, achi empowers lasting transformation in individual lives—resulting in an overall healthier population and data to transform our healthcare payment models. To learn more about achi and its mission, visit www.achi.solutions.

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  • Hayley Studer

With voluntary employee turnover costs exceeding $600 billion nationwide, according to the Work Institute 2019 Retention Report, employee retention needs to be a top priority for every company. As labor-related costs are often the largest line item expense for corporations, companies have no choice but to pay attention to this area.

Prior to the recent COVID-19 pandemic, the US was in one of the tightest labor markets in recent history. Per SHRM’s 2019 State of the Workplace, 83% of companies surveyed struggled to recruit suitable candidates over the past year. For industries like healthcare that were at the top of the February 2020 Bureau of Labor Statistics job opening rates, losing current employees only compounds the problems. Overall hospital turnover is about 18%, according to the NSI 2020 National Health Care Retention Report, showing that even a small decrease in turnover can save an institution millions annually.

Although there is debate about the actual dollar amount of the cost of turnover, from a low estimate of $15,000 per employee to the higher end of a position's full annual salary, everyone will agree that this takes a toll on the bottom line of an organization. Not only are the costs noticed in recruiting and training, but turnover costs can be felt in other areas such as: paying overtime to existing staff for coverage, productivity of new staff, quality and safety concerns, and customer satisfaction.

Help minimize the loss of your valuable employees. As employees are furloughed and new opportunities open up in a post COVID-19 world, it is imperative that your workforce will be available to return when you need them. With profit margins projected to plummet in so many industries this year, you can’t afford to incur preventable turnover costs. We can help your employees stay engaged during furloughs, connect to the resources they need, and help you remain their employer of choice.

For more information about ways achi can help you communicate with your furloughed employees, please download our flyer.

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About achi

achi is a holistic care management company that lowers overall expenses by actively engaging people and connecting them to organizations to address the social determinants of health. Through innovative partnerships, cross-sector collaboration, and creative solutions, we equip organizations across multiple industries to educate the people they serve and connect them with resources to improve their lives from the ground up. By partnering with health systems, educational institutions and corporations, achi empowers lasting transformation in individual lives—resulting in an overall healthier population and data to transform our healthcare payment models. To learn more about achi and its mission, visit www.achi.solutions.

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