Hospitals losing revenue as fewer non-COVID-19 patients visit facilities

Hampden County

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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Due the COVID-19 pandemic, people seeking other hospital related care has dramatically gone down, causing hospitals to lose revenue.

The Massachusetts Health Policy Commission saw that multiple hospital services have seen a decline in patients in March of this year compared to last year’s figures. The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted operations of every day life, and hospital systems are not immune to the impact.

Operating room minutes, emergency department visits, and hospitals discharges have all dropped in March of 2020 compared to last year.

“People who are looking into more recent into April are finding drops in the order of 30 percent,” Massachusetts Health Policy Commission Director of Research and Cost Trends, Dr. David Auerbach told 22News.

The drop in numbers means a loss of revenue for hospitals, a 14 percent reduction from inpatient care and 19 percent from outpatient.

“Some of the community hospitals might be more effected because they tend to rely more on outpatient revenue,” Dr. Auerbach continued.

Luckily, the Commission says 20 percent of lost patient visits have been filled through the availability of telehealth services. There are federal and state subsidies to help hospitals who’ve had a decline in revenue. Governor Charlie Baker has urged people to still go to the hospital if they need unrelated COVID-19 care, stressing that hospital systems can still take care of patients safely.

The Health Policy Commission says they expect the decline to be even greater in April due to the stay-at-home order being in effect for the entire month.

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