US Medical Centers: “Infected” Financially

BY: CLAIRE KIM

According to the New York Times, “Hospitals say they are losing money when they treat Covid-19 patients because of the lengthy and intensive medical care these patients need.”

Amid the outbreak of the coronavirus earlier this year, thousands of hospitals across the US have been forced to shut down all “nonessential” services. Ranging from elective surgeries, procedures, and screenings to clinical health appointments with doctors, the suspension of these services have essentially dried-out the health industry. Financially, many hospitals have grown unstable due to the enmeshed problem of having to meet the demands of coronavirus patients while also maintaining their infrastructure from a lack of substantial income.

Though hospitals are well-established for being non-profit, a steady stream of income needs to be obtained to uphold the costs of supplies, health care workers, and facilities. And as you might have connected, such income is readily accumulated from these “non-essential”, patient-based services in hospitals. In fact, one of the most significant services that hospitals rely on for consistent revenue is considered a “non-essential” services: elective surgeries. In comparison to other health care services, elective surgeries tend to demand higher costs from Medicare and private insurers, ultimately providing financial uplifts for hospitals. Statistics have shown that surgical admissions have provided 48% of hospital revenue, a startling number to consider in the face of such absent care.

However, the financial burden on hospitals seems to also stem from the services that hospitals currently provide right now as well, coronavirus care. Because recovery from COVID-19 tends to demand a lengthy process and intensive hospital supplies, it’s difficult for many hospitals to sustain consistent treatment. In fact, even the problem of not having enough masks is prominent.

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