Some healthcare workers in the area to receive bonuses

Published: Aug. 22, 2022 at 6:01 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) -“We hope that it will help retain and recruit new staff members. It’s always a difficult process, so anything we can do and be part of. We’re obviously going to comply and be active participants in,” said Samaritan Medical Center Spokesperson Leslie DiStefano.

Excitement over the state’s new Health Care and Mental Hygiene Bonus program.

With the September deadline approaching, hospitals are responsible for submitting employees who qualify through an online portal.

“We really feel that all patient facing employees will end up being part of it, but we really have to complete that match-up really to know who will qualify and who will not,” said DiStefano.

According to the state, the bonuses will be determined by what the state calls “vesting periods,” or hours worked during consecutive six-month periods through 2024.

They must also make no more than $125,000 a year.

Those who worked 20-30 hours per week are eligible for a $500 bonus.

Those who worked 30-35 hours per week are eligible for a $1,000 bonus.

And those who worked at least 35 hours a week are eligible for a $1,500 bonus.

That means between two vesting periods, an employee who works 35 hours or more could get a maximum of $3,000 in bonus payments.

At Claxton Hepburn Medical Center 464 employees are eligible.

And at Carthage Area Hospital 219 are eligible.

Lisa Storey with Carthage Area Hospital and Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center says there’s been mixed reactions from employees. Not every job title, including medical billers, qualify for the bonuses.

“Those are challenging conversations, because they don’t feel like they’re as valued and we have to as an organization remind them that they’re very much valuable. They’re a patient caregiver just like everyone else,” said Storey.

This is just round one of multiple bonus opportunities through March of 2024. Storey says she’s expecting this first round to come by October.