Howard U. to furlough hospital staff

Howard University disclosed Wednesday that it will require 1,700 of its hospital employees to take the equivalent of eight days of unpaid leave over the next year, in an effort to save $6 million.

The university said the furloughs “will be carefully coordinated to retain the highest quality patient care delivery.”

The university, in Northwest Washington, said it had no plans for other hospital personnel cuts. Howard University Hospital, under pressure lately to decrease expenses because of revenue shortfalls, also plans to reduce spending on employee overtime, supplies and drugs, among other steps.

University officials said recently they have retained consultants to study options for the future operation of the hospital, which serves a high number of poor patients. The university, which owns the hospital, also faces significant fiscal challenges in other aspects of its operations.

Nick Anderson covers higher education for The Washington Post. He has been a writer and editor at The Post since 2005.

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