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US hospitals feeling financial strain of coronavirus pandemic

por John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | March 23, 2020
Business Affairs
The COVID-19 pandemic has left many U.S. providers facing potential financials losses for the year and feeling strained in their ability to afford and provide care for patients.
Hospitals across the U.S. are expecting heavy financial losses throughout 2020 due to the strain of the coronavirus pandemic on medical resources and services.

New York-Presbyterian Hospital — on the basis of a number of assumptions — estimates operating losses between $104 million and $454 million for the 2020 calendar year, reports Modern Healthcare. Meanwhile, rural medical facilities already facing financial strains in Kentucky are reported to have neither the financial nor the operational capacity to treat coronavirus patients, putting more strain on urban health systems to meet demand.

“Even if we do all these things that we’re trying to do, in terms of social distancing and closing the businesses and schools, many areas will still have need that exceeds capacity,” Ty Borders, the director of University of Kentucky’s Rural and Underserved Health Research Center, told local news outlet, The Herald-Leader. “On the one hand I think that Kentucky is doing more than many places to try to bend the incident curve that the federal government has referred to, That said, if there is an outbreak of severe cases, I don’t think any hospital is prepared, in Kentucky or elsewhere.”

The outbreak in the U.S. has led federal, state and local governments to pass a variety of relief packages to keep hospitals afloat as they face dwindling resources such as face masks and respirators, and a shortage in hospital beds.

The U.S. government has already passed two spending bills, with one including $2.2 billion to reimburse state or local costs for coronavirus response and preparedness activities and nearly $1 billion for the purchase of drugs and medical supplies, including masks and personal protective equipment, according to the Hospital Health System Association of Pennsylvania.

Similarly, state legislatures in California allocated up to $1 billion to increase supplies of ventilators and respirators, reported CalMatters.

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