As Hospitals Lose $50B Per Month, Home Health Providers Consider New Acquisition Opportunities
Across the U.S., hospital systems are bleeding money. The coronavirus is largely to blame, with most of the country suspending elective procedures and non-essential hospital services for the majority of spring. The American Hospital Association (AHA), for example, estimates that COVID-19’s financial impact on hospitals and health systems over the four-month period from March 1 to June 30 will total $202.6 billion, with losses averaging over $50 billion per month. In May, the chairman of the Department of Medicine at UC San Francisco, Dr. Bob Wachter, told CNBC that his hospitals were losing more than $5 million per day in April. Meanwhile, admissions, surgeries, and emergency department visits of HCA Healthcare, Tenet Healthcare Corporation, Community Health Systems Inc., and Universal Health Services Inc. all dropped 20% to 40% during the last two weeks of March, according to a Commonwealth Fund study released Friday. The situation for those large for-profit hospital systems was even bleaker in April, contributing to first-quarter aggregate operating profits dropping 13.5%. “I think it’s fair to say that hospitals are facing perhaps the greatest challenge that they have ever faced in their history,” Rick Pollack, the CEO of AHA, said in May.