Originally created 08/19/00

Pay glitch hits MCG Health

A couple of glitches in the payroll system skewed direct deposits for hundreds of employees at MCG Health Inc. on Friday.

Although some employees say the glitch added to already-poor morale, MCG Health officials said the error is being worked out and they are not aware of any morale problems.

MCG Health is the nonprofit company that took over Medical College of Georgia Hospital and Clinics on July 1. For its third biweekly pay period, contractor ADP mistakenly used the data from the previous pay period, said Thomas Kelly Jr., senior vice president for finance and chief financial officer.

The mistake was noticed Wednesday night, and ADP was able to correct the paper checks in time for delivery Thursday night, Mr. Kelly said. But direct deposit takes two days to change, so there was not time before the Friday pay period, he said.

The deposits went through and will be adjusted Monday night, Mr. Kelly said. About 90 percent of MCG Health's 2,000 employees use direct deposit, but the glitch affects only those whose hours changed from one period to the next. Officials could not say how many people that will be.

For about 300 people who use Regions Bank and MCG's credit union, there was a second problem. The routing number of their deposits had five extra zeros added to it, so the banks did not credit the deposits to their accounts. MCG Health officials talked to the banks, however, which agreed to honor the deposits, although that may not have shown up when employees checked by phone or the Internet, Mr. Kelly said.

That was the case for one nurse, who asked not to be identified.

"Some people got the wrong amount; some people got nothing," the nurse said. "I got nothing."

The payroll trouble just adds to the strain since MCG Health took over, the nurse said.

"We're very, very short-staffed," the nurse said. "And the morale is so bad. People are walking out the door."

MCG Health President and Chief Executive Officer Don Snell said this week that of the 500 vacancies on July 1, 50 to 60 had been filled.

Mr. Kelly said he had not heard of morale problems.

"Based upon national and regional benchmarking in certain respective areas for which we have elected not to fill a position, data indicate the staff is adequate," he said.

Reach Tom Corwin at (706) 823-3213 or tomc@augustachronicle.com.


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