The new coronavirus could cost Pennsylvania hospitals more than $10 billion this year, a trade group said Wednesday, repeating its call for the Wolf administration and state lawmakers to provide tax relief and other financial support.
An analysis commissioned by the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania said the cancellation of elective surgeries and deferral of medical treatments — from which hospitals derive a large portion of their income — resulted in a nearly $1 billion revenue hit in March alone. Many hospitals and health networks have already furloughed and laid off workers, and the report warned that some hospitals might have to close.
“We are calling on the governor and the Legislature to act now,” Andy Carter, the group’s president and CEO, told reporters on Wednesday. “I ask policymakers to use the tools at their disposal to ensure we plant the seeds of a strong recovery for Pennsylvania’s health care workforce and its community of hospitals.”
A Wolf administration spokeswoman said the state government has taken several steps to support hospitals, creating a $450 million short-term loan program and buying personal protective gear and other equipment for hospitals and nursing facilities.
Pennsylvania hospitals said they expect to get more than $3 billion in federal coronavirus funding, leaving them with a projected net loss from the pandemic of $7 billion this year without tax relief and additional government aid.