WHA says health systems losing $150 million per week amid pandemic

The Wisconsin Hospital Association says health systems are losing at least $150 million a week as they await details on how the $100 billion from Congress will be divided up among the states.

“We know for certain that hospitals need these funds,” said Eric Borgerding, president and CEO of the WHA. He added that the WHA is working closely with federal officials for further details on how the $100 billion for health care will be divided and how quickly facilities can access these needed funds.

He said that the cost of postponing elective procedures and appointments to preserve personal protection equipment and hospital beds, at the direction of the U.S. Surgeon General, has come at an “underappreciated cost.”

The WHA found that Wisconsin health systems are losing at least $150 million in revenue every week, funds needed to “basically keep the doors open.” 

Wisconsin hospitals carry about $275 million per week in labor expenses alone, according to Borgerding.

“We appreciate that Congress is taking this crisis seriously and recognizes that hospitals and health systems have made difficult fiscal decisions in order to properly prepare for further spread of COVID-19,” he said. 

The WHA noted some elements of the bill that will help, such as the temporary lift of the 2 percent Medicare sequestration cuts and increased payments for COVID-19 treatments. 

“It’s probably too early to tell if this is enough relief for what hospitals and health systems are facing, so it’s important for elected officials to keep in touch with their local hospitals to ensure they have the resources they need to help their communities in this pandemic,” Borgerding said.

–By Stephanie Hoff