DUBLIN, April 21, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Ahead of the end of its fiscal fourth quarter of fiscal year 2020, Medtronic plc (NYSE:MDT) today provided an update on its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the impact on its business, and its strong financial position.
The global healthcare system is facing an unprecedented challenge with the COVID-19 pandemic, and Medtronic is responding in an unprecedented way. First and foremost, Medtronic has taken a number of steps to help ensure the health and well-being of its more than 90,000 employees and their families around the globe. Second, the company has mobilized its global resources to support patients and physicians in this time of need, including a rapid expansion in the production and distribution of critical products in the fight against COVID-19. Third, Medtronic is partnering with key government agencies and providing direct support to communities around the world.
Medtronic’s employees work every day to fulfill the Medtronic Mission — to alleviate pain, restore health and extend life. That Mission has fueled Medtronic’s innovation, partnerships, commitment to integrity and ethics, and has resulted in the improvement of millions of lives.
“I am incredibly proud of the response of our 90,000 global employees. Our resolve to alleviate pain, restore health, and extend life, as outlined in our Mission, has never been greater,” said Omar Ishrak, Medtronic chairman and chief executive officer. “I want to recognize and thank our customers, partners, and the healthcare community at large, for their efforts to combat this pandemic. Individually, and collectively, we will persevere.”
Medtronic employees continue to work during this pandemic, making critical, lifesaving products to treat both COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 conditions. The company is focused on protecting and caring for its employees during this pandemic. Its manufacturing and distribution facilities are routinely cleaned and sanitized, employees are utilizing personal protective equipment (PPE) and social distancing, including staggered breaks to reduce crowds in common areas, and additional screening and access protocols have been implemented. Field employees who continue to work in clinical settings are provided access to PPE. Importantly, Medtronic has also developed and rolled out to its U.S. employees, and their family members, a free virtual COVID-19 evaluation and monitoring tool through its Care Management Services business.
To recognize and support its employees, Medtronic has invested in COVID-19-related employee programs and benefits:
- Medtronic implemented reward and recognition programs, which include monetary awards, for business-critical employees who must report to a Medtronic facility to continue manufacturing and distributing products to the healthcare systems and patients who need them.
- In recognition of the challenging sales environment, the company has instituted measures to help protect field employees from significant impacts to their incentive compensation, which for many represents a significant percentage of their regular income.
- The company developed an Emergency Leave Pay Policy, which allows employees whose roles cannot be performed remotely – and who face certain situations such as quarantine, home schooling, childcare issues, or a positive COVID-19 diagnosis – to receive up to 30 days of pay.
- Medtronic increased contributions to its Employee Emergency Assistance Fund, which is providing needs-based financial grants to employees who are experiencing financial impact due to the COVID-19 pandemic, including childcare reimbursement.
- Employees and household family members have also been offered the Medtronic Employee Assistance Program (MEAP), which offers a variety of services at no cost, from help finding childcare to free financial consultations and confidential mental health counseling.
Medical Professionals and Healthcare Systems
Medtronic is at the service of medical professionals and healthcare systems around the world. Since the start of the pandemic, the company has worked tirelessly to make critical products available to physicians and patients.
The company has hosted dozens of virtual physician forums and medical education programs to help physicians of various specialties navigate the challenges of COVID-19. It has deployed existing remote monitoring solutions and quickly developed new remote monitoring solutions to reduce potential exposure to COVID-19 for Medtronic employees, customers, and patients.
Medtronic is one of the leading manufacturers of ventilators, an important technology in the fight against COVID-19. The company has taken a number of steps expected to increase its own ventilator production to more than 1,000 per week by the end of June, a five-fold increase from pre-pandemic levels, as well as to increase the total global market ventilator production and training:
- In an open source initiative, the company released its Puritan Bennett™ 560 (PB560) ventilator design specifications publicly, providing manufacturers around the world the ability to rapidly accelerate ventilator production. The company has received more than 100,000 registrations for the design specifications for its PB560 ventilator at Medtronic.com/openventilator. At this time, progress has been made by three large-scale manufacturers: Canada-based Baylis Medical Co. Inc., Taiwan-based Foxconn Technology Group (via their manufacturing facility in Wisconsin), and VinGroup Joint Stock Co. of Vietnam.
- Medtronic is currently in limited market release for a remote management feature on the company’s critical care ventilators at several U.S. hospitals, which may reduce healthcare workers’ exposure to COVID-19 patients by allowing changes to ventilator settings from outside a patient’s room. The Puritan Bennett™ 980 remote capabilities were accelerated by collaborating with Intel Corporation.
- The company is collaborating with SpaceX to manufacture a critical component for Medtronic’s critical care ventilators.
- Medtronic partnered with other ventilator manufacturers, including Dräger, GE Healthcare, Getinge, Hamilton Medical, Nihon Kohden, Philips, Vyaire Medical, and others, to form the Ventilator Training Alliance, aimed at ensuring appropriate ventilator training for healthcare workers.
- The company has committed to not raising ventilator prices as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and is partnering with key government authorities to prioritize allocation to high risk/high needs areas.
To support communities around the world during this critical and unprecedented time,
Medtronic has encouraged virtual volunteerism and increased its employee and retiree matched giving program through July 31, offering a 2:1 match for monetary donations made to eligible nonprofits worldwide. Since February, Medtronic and the Medtronic Foundation have committed $13 million in donations to support health systems and vulnerable communities worldwide.
To keep all external stakeholders informed, Medtronic launched an external news hub sharing the latest updates in how the company is responding to the pandemic, and its leadership recently posted an open letter to the public and its employees outlining the company’s support and contributions to address the pandemic.
Impact on the Business
The impact of COVID-19 on Medtronic’s businesses remains fluid, and the company continues to actively monitor the dynamic situation. Medtronic continues to expect COVID-19 to negatively affect its fiscal fourth quarter financial results, which ends on April 24, 2020. Given the progression of COVID-19 around the world and the timing of the company’s fiscal quarter, Medtronic’s fourth quarter financial results will reflect an additional month of impact compared to many other companies who operate on a calendar-based fiscal year.
Hospital resources have been diverted to fight the pandemic, and many government agencies in conjunction with healthcare systems have made decisions to defer many elective and semi-elective procedures that use the company’s products. In addition, some people are avoiding seeking treatment for non-COVID-19 emergency procedures, resulting in an impact to those emergent product lines. Capital equipment purchases, outside of ventilators and patient monitoring equipment, are also being deferred by hospitals in the current environment.