Although hospitals are at the front line of treating a growing number of patients amid the COVID-19 crisis, many hospital executives will be the first to tell you that this does not equate to a financial windfall. In fact, the influx of patients means many hospitals are losing money, some considering closing or filing for bankruptcy.
Between the well-documented competition for critical supplies to treat COVID-19 patients, shifting resources to create COVID-19 treatment bays, postponing and canceling other treatments and surgeries -- many hospitals are furloughing workers and conducting layoffs to cope with an uncertain financial future.
In a recent NPR interview, David J. Cole, MD of The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) explained, “We went from making several million dollars a month to losing $30 million in less than a month. Most revenue for a hospital comes from surgeries or procedures. And those things in our facility have dropped 60-70 percent. We are going to need financial help to probably get through this.”
How can health care organizations correct course amid the financial side of the COVID-19 crisis?