Even as cases decline and the state continues to reopen, the financial impacts of COVID-19 remain a deep concern for Pennsylvania’s hospitals and health systems. On March 19, the governor and Department of Health called for the cancellation of scheduled services and procedures. Hospitals followed orders to create extra capacity for a surge in COVID-19 patients, and purchasing critical supplies and protective equipment. Some hospitals now have been forced to make heartbreaking decisions––including layoffs and furloughs––to address immense financial challenges.
A recent Health Management Associates report commissioned by The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP) projected a $10.2 billion toll on the hospital community during 2020.
While Doylestown Health is managing in the short-term, said Jim Brexler, president and CEO, without additional federal and state support, it might have to consider changing or shutting down some of the services it currently provides. Brexler said he believes providing additional federal and state funding for hospitals is the right thing to do “to underpin those losses that we took on as a result of creating capacity for the pandemic.”
HAP strongly encourages the governor and General Assembly to support hospitals––the front line in providing care for all patients––with needed financial relief from the CARES Act funding the federal government provided to the state.