HAP News Releases and Statements

News Release: New Analysis Shows Drastic Impacts of COVID-19 on PA, Hospitals

Impact of COVID-19 on Hospitals Totaled $5 Billion between March and June

September 08, 2020

A new analysis released today shows the COVID-19 public health crisis will leave lasting scars on Pennsylvania and its hospital community. The report is a follow-up to an April analysis commissioned by The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvanian and conducted by Health Management Associates.

Six months into the crisis, the analysis states that, between mid-March and July, hospitals incurred an estimated operating margin shortfall $5 billion below expected results—a 24 percent drop from pre-pandemic revenues.  The state government still possesses more than $1 billion in CARES money designated for COVID-related spending.

The report also found:

  • Patient volumes plummeted during the initial phase of the crisis. Inpatient discharges are estimated to be 5 percent below, and emergency room visits and surgeries 13 percent below, historical levels for the second half of the year
  • COVID-19’s economic impact will result in anticipated increases in uncompensated care, further jeopardizing an already difficult insurance climate
  • Community health may suffer due to unemployment, loss of insurance, and loss of housing stability
  • Patients will continue to put off important health care due to fear of COVID-19, inability to afford care due to economic strain, and loss of access to infrastructure and resources, such as transportation
  • The commonwealth’s health care workforce will contract due to burnout, early retirements, and insufficient child care options while schools resort to virtual instruction
  • Interest in COVID-related news has receded during recent months, as has vigilance in adhering to prevention techniques—such as wearing masks and maintaining safe distances from others. As flu season converges with a possible spike in COVID-19 cases this fall, hospitals must double down on preparations for another influx of patients

“This updated analysis confirms the magnitude of the shockwaves that COVID-19 has sent through our health care system and economy,” said Andy Carter, HAP president and CEO.

“Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Pennsylvania’s hospitals have been on the front line of battling the virus. Absent additional and significant support from state and federal lawmakers, the long-term financial stability of hospitals—and, as a result, patient access to care—remains in serious jeopardy.”

The report’s estimated financial losses significantly exceed the federal relief received to date, and losses are expected to continue through 2020 and beyond. Hospitals have not received any of the state’s allocation of federal CARES Act funding to fill this void and continue to advocate among state policymakers for this relief.

Media Contact

Chris Daley
Vice President, Strategic Communications
Phone: (717) 561-5378

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