Even as cases decline and the state continues to reopen, the impacts of COVID-19 remain a deep concern for Pennsylvania’s hospitals and health systems.
During a call with journalists this week, leaders from Doylestown Health and Butler Health System said that while COVID-19 impacted their respective regions differently, both face uncertain financial futures.
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.”
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.
While hospitals applied extensive preparations and continued to deliver much-needed care during this public health crisis, 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.