HAP News Releases and Statements

PHC4, HAP Report Details Coronavirus Pandemic’s Impact

Harrisburg, PA (January 11, 2024) – The Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council (PHC4), in collaboration with The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP), has released a new report examining how the coronavirus pandemic affected and changed Pennsylvania and its health care system.

The report, COVID-19, The Impact on Health Care in Pennsylvania, details the toll that COVID-19 has taken on Pennsylvanians and their communities as well as the financial impact on the Commonwealths’ hospitals.

“PHC4 hopes this statistical representation of the coronavirus pandemic found in this summary gives stakeholders the opportunity to learn from this experience,” said PHC4 Executive Director Barry D. Buckingham.

The report also examines how Pennsylvania hospitals responded to the pandemic and the challenges they continue to experience.

“Throughout the pandemic, Pennsylvania hospitals stepped up as leaders to care for and protect their communities,” HAP President and CEO Nicole Stallings said. “In its wake, hospitals continue to navigate persistent challenges, including a health care workforce shortage and threats to financial stability.”

Among the key findings are:

  • The overall hospitalization rate was 196.7 COVID-19 hospitalizations per 10,000 Pennsylvania residents from March 2020 through December 2022. Rates were statistically higher for older residents, especially ages 45 and older, male residents, black (non-Hispanic) residents, and residents living in areas where 10% or more of the population lives in poverty.
  • Of the $8.1 billion total COVID-19 related expenses and lost revenue reported by Pennsylvania hospitals and health systems through December 2022 (Jan 2020 – Dec 2022), costs related to COVID-19 staffing amounted to $1.3 billion—the largest expense reported.
  • The coronavirus pandemic intensified workforce shortages throughout the health care sector with hospitals reporting average statewide vacancy rates of more than 30% at the end of 2022 for key clinical positions, including registered nurses, nursing support staff, and medical assistants.

For more information, visit phc4.org or view the report page here.

Media Contact

Chris Daley, Vice President, Strategic Communications

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