Health Policy & Advocacy
Resources
Basic InformationMore InformationLatest News
When Drug Companies Raise Prices, Patients' Out-of-Pocket Costs RiseMost Top U.S. Surgeons Are White and That's Not ChangingAmericans Missed Almost 10 Million Cancer Screenings During PandemicU.S. Birth Rates Continue to FallBiden Sets New Goal of Vaccinating 70% of Americans by July 41 in 3 Neighborhoods in Major U.S. Cities Is a 'Pharmacy Desert'You Got Your COVID Shot: What to Do With That Vaccine CardFinding a Doctor Is Tough and Getting Tougher in Rural AmericaUrgent Care or the ER? Which Should You Choose?FDA Poised to Ban Menthol CigarettesPoll Reveals Who's Most Vaccine-Hesitant in America and WhyAHA News: Food, Culture and the Secret Ingredient to Address Lack of Diversity in Nutrition FieldCDC Decision on Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Pause Expected FridayAHA News: How to Make Sure Everyone Gets a Fair Shot at the COVID-19 VaccineLittle Progress in Boosting Numbers of Black American DoctorsHigh-Profile Police Brutality Cases Harm Black Americans' Mental Health: StudyAHA News: Could the Pandemic Help Boost Diversity in Clinical Trials?Americans Still Avoiding ERs in Pandemic, But Uptick Seen in Mental Health CrisesCDC Panel Says It Needs More Time to Study J&J Vaccine Clotting CasesAHA News: 5 Things to Know This Earth Day About How the Environment Affects Health4 in 10 Adults Over 50 Consult Online Reviews When Picking a DoctorCBD or THC? Cannabis Product Labels Often Mislead, Study FindsPandemic Has Put Many Clinical Trials on HoldDespite Pandemic's Toll, Many Older Adults Don't Have Living Wills'Heart-in-a-Box' Can Be Lifesaving, Matching Up Distant Donors With PatientsPublic Lost Trust in CDC During COVID Crisis: PollNearly 8 in 10 School, Child Care Staff Have Gotten at Least 1 Dose of COVID Vaccine: CDCWhy Are ER Wait Times Getting Longer for Kids in Mental Health Crisis?Buying Your Own Health Insurance Just Got Way Less ExpensiveStrain of COVID Care Has Many Health Professionals Looking for an ExitBlack Americans Often Face Discrimination in Health CareHow Willing Are Americans to Donate COVID Vaccines to Other Countries?Too Few Minorities in U.S. Health Care Workforce: ReportBlack Patients Often Treated at Hospitals With Poorer Safety Records: ReportDon't Delay Your Cancer Screenings, Surgeons' Group UrgesBiden Administration Working on 'Vaccine Passport' InitiativeStates Race to Vaccinate Their ResidentsFDA Clamping Down on Abuse of an OTC  DecongestantShortage of Primary Care Doctors Is Costing American LivesStudy Finds Growing Acceptance of COVID Vaccine by U.S. Health Care Workers'Avoidable Hospitalizations:' Another Way the Pandemic Is Tougher on MinoritiesOn-the-Road Help: 'Mobile Stroke Units' Are Saving People's LivesTalks With Doctors May Be Key to Vaccine Acceptance: StudyAs U.S. Vaccinations Rise, Are 'Vaccine Passports' for Americans Coming?Begin Routine Diabetes Screening at 35 for Overweight, Obese Americans: Task Force'Race Gap' in U.S. Heart Health Has Changed Little in 20 Years: ReportDriven by Anti-Vaxxers, Measles Outbreaks Cost Everyone MoneyScams Await Many Americans Desperate to Get COVID VaccineMore Americans Would Get Lung Cancer Screening Under New GuidelinesGlobal Warming Could Make Survival in Tropics Impossible: Study
Questions and AnswersVideosLinksBook Reviews
Related Topics

Health Insurance
Healthcare

Pandemic Is Hitting Hospitals Hard, Including Their Bottom Line

HealthDay News
by By Dennis Thompson HealthDay Reporter
Updated: Feb 26th 2021

new article illustration

FRIDAY, Feb. 26, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. hospitals are expected to lose billions again in 2021, leaving them in dire financial shape as the COVID-19 pandemic guts the industry for a second year.

Hospitals could lose $53 billion to $122 billion in revenue in 2021, between 4% and 10% of their total revenue, according to an analysis prepared by consulting firm Kaufman Hall & Associates for the American Hospital Association.

These revenue declines would come on top of $320 billion in lost revenue in 2020, said Rick Pollack, the hospital association's president and CEO.

The reasons? Hospitals are spending more to treat COVID-19 patients as well as maintain regular operations during the pandemic, Pollack said.

At the same time, drug expenses increased by 17% in 2020; labor by 14%; and supplies by 13%, the Kaufman Hall report says.

"All those expenses keep going up, and at least four dozen hospitals entered bankruptcy in 2020 according to data compiled by Bloomberg," Pollack said.

"This is of particular concern for rural hospitals," he added. "Nineteen rural hospitals closed in 2020, and 135 have closed since 2010. In many of these rural areas, residents lack other options for dependable care."

Labor costs have increased because hospitals have had to hire part-time contract workers to cover for employees exposed to COVID-19, said David Ramsey, president and CEO of the Charleston Area Medical Center and Health System in West Virginia.

"At one point, we had 250 employees who were either out with COVID, being tested for COVID or quarantined by the health department," Ramsey said.

Hospital employees, particularly nurses, are also burning out at alarming rates, said Judy Rich, president and CEO of the Tucson Medical Center in Arizona.

Nurse turnover has nearly doubled at Rich's hospital, rising to 17% in 2020 compared with 9% the year before.

"We have seen our staff, especially nursing costs, go up three times what they typically would cost us," she said. "A nurse who typically made $48 an hour, we are now having to pay $150 an hour to get enough nursing hours."

Rich said her hospital has invested in other innovative measures to improve the staff's quality of life and keep them at work.

"We started a school here, because our schools are not open yet. We are funding a school for [grades] K to 6 so our staff can come to work," she said. "We are trying everything we can to keep them encouraged, to give them the kinds of benefits that they need."

Hospitals have also taken a financial hit because people worried about contracting COVID-19 won't come in for needed care or elective procedures, Ramsey and Rich said.

"We typically see about 98,000 patients a year in our emergency department [ED]," Rich said. "Last year that was cut by 30%, but the people who are coming to the ED, rather than 20% being admitted to the hospital, we're now admitting 30% because they're sicker when they get here. Our length of stay in the hospital, typically about 4 days for each patient, is now closer to 5 to 5.2 days."

Ramsey noted that many patients remain uneasy about spending time in a health care setting.

"A lot of our patients are not comfortable coming back into the health care and ambulatory environment yet," he said. "They're concerned about: Does COVID still linger in the hospital environment, and can they perhaps contract it there?"

The nation's COVID-19 vaccination program is expected to help hospitals by reducing the number of severe cases and helping people feel safe to return to the hospital for other medical care, Kaufman Hall's report said.

Hospitals could also benefit from expanding the federal fund that has supported medical centers, clinics and other health professionals during the pandemic, Pollack said.

The American Hospital Association has asked Congress and the Biden administration to beef up the Provider Relief Fund by another $35 billion, he said. That money is not included in the $1.9 trillion relief bill advanced by President Joe Biden and up for a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives.

"It's red alert time for the Provider Relief Fund, which has kept so many hospitals and other providers afloat during this past year," Pollack said. "If Congress doesn't act soon, hospitals just aren't going to have the tools or resources to continue serving their patients in the midst of the pandemic."

More information

Read about the pandemic's effect on hospital revenues in the Kaufman Hall report.

SOURCES: Rick Pollack, president/CEO, American Hospital Association, Washington, D.C.; David Ramsey, president/CEO, Charleston Area Medical Center and Health System, Charleston, W.V.; Judy Rich, president/CEO, Tucson Medical Center, Tucson, Ariz.; "COVID-19 in 2021: The Potential Effect on Hospital Revenues," Kaufman, Hall & Associates, February 2021




Facebook

Amazon Smile

 

Children and Adult services are available now with no wait time.  

Please contact HBH at 860-548-0101, option 2.

 


powered by centersite dot net