Health care plays a central role in this coronavirus pandemic, but that doesn’t mean Connecticut’s hospitals are in good fiscal shape. It’s actually the opposite.
“In general during the height of the pandemic, Trinity Health which includes Mercy Hospital in Massachusetts was losing over a million a day,” Jennifer Schneider, chief financial officer with Trinity Health of New England, said. “And that’s gradually decreased in the month of June probably closer to $600,000 per day.”
Schneider said it's going to have a long term impact on the delivery of health care.
Ajay Kumar, chief clinical officer at Hartford Healthcare, said in a statement that “at the height of the pandemic, health care systems were paying millions more- ten times more than we did a year ago- for critical ppe. We were competing across the globe for the same equipment. There was incredibly important work that had to take place: setting up and launching a 24/7 call center, creating a mobile testing program across the state- all of these incredibly important community initiatives demand valuable resources.”
The other factor is lost revenue from things like elective surgeries.
“More than $2 billion we’re forecasting in lost revenues since the pandemic began in March and that is through September is what we’re forecasting, on top of that they’re shouldering the additional expenses with preparing for and responding to their communities in the state in terms of the people infected with COVID who have needed to be hospitalized,” Mark Schaefer, vice president of system innovation and financing at the Connecticut Hospital Association, said.
The Connecticut Hospital Association estimates that hospitals have still lost $1.3 billion after receiving $648 million in emergency relief from the federal government.
To help keep them afloat hospitals have asked Gov. Ned Lamont for an additional $450 million.
But the state won’t be able to cover their full request.
“I can afford to make a good down payment because they’ve been incredible partners for the state of Connecticut,” Lamont said. “And we promised them, I think it’s a minimum amount of money – say, $100 million. The rest going to have to wait and see what comes out of the Heroes Act.”
The Heroes Act would direct another $100 billion to hospitals and health care providers.