HAP News Releases and Statements

New Report Analyzes a Year with COVID-19 in PA

HAP Center for Health Policy Research details geographic, demographic, economic impacts of the pandemic

June 01, 2021

A new report released today takes a deep dive into a year with COVID-19 in Pennsylvania. The analysis, prepared by researchers from The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania’s (HAP) Center for Health Policy and Research, highlights the pandemic and its impacts on Pennsylvania’s patients and the health systems and hospitals that treat them.

“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the HAP Center for Health Policy and Research has kept a close watch on key data points and trends. While this report covers a fixed time period, its analysis will inform the Pennsylvania hospital community’s work to lay the foundation for post-COVID-19 health care,” said Sushma Sharma, PhD, HAP’s vice president, health care research.

Key findings include:

  • The first confirmed case in Pennsylvania was reported on March 6 and the first COVID-19-related death occurred on March 18, 2020. By the anniversary of the first case in the state, Pennsylvania had close to a million COVID-19 cases and nearly 25,000 deaths
  • Philadelphia County reported the highest number of cases (114,350) with nearly 32 percent more cases as compared to the next county (Allegheny County, 77,994). The incidence rates (per 100,000) were higher for rural counties as compared to urban counties
  • The pandemic disproportionately impacted certain groups of Pennsylvanians. The Black/African American and Latino/a/x populations were disproportionally affected. The mortality rate in the Black/African American population was much higher than any other racial or ethnic group
  • The estimated revenue loss for state hospitals during 2020 was close to $5 billion. In addition to revenue losses, the hospitals experienced increased expenses. During 2020, hospitals reported a 17 percent increase in drug expenses, a 16 percent increase in purchased service expenses, a 14 percent increase in labor expenses, and a 13 percent increase in supply expenses
  • Hospitals continue to be the economic anchors in their communities. Hospitals contributed over $143 billion to the state and local economies during 2019. Hospitals also invested more than $660,000 in health care jobs and supported $1.85 billion through federal research funds

“Our analysis clearly demonstrates the value of Pennsylvania’s hospitals and health systems to the communities they serve; their dedication to treating everyone, regardless of their health status and ability to pay; their commitment to serving as leaders in this public health response; and their innovation during this critical time,” said Ayse Yilmaz, the lead researcher of this report. “Now, more than ever, the future of Pennsylvania’s health care depends on our maintaining a strong hospital community and health care workforce.”

For this report, HAP’s Center for Health Policy and Research analyzed publicly available data from (including but not limited to) the Pennsylvania Department of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Kauffman Hall, the COVID Tracking Project, and HAP’s Economic Impact report.

The full report, as well as more information about HAP’s Center for Health Policy and Research, can be found at HAP’s website.

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