Hospitals nationwide are projected to lose more than $120 billion during the second half of 2020 — largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic — according to a study released by the American Hospital Association.
The $120 billion that is projected to be lost during the second half of this year is on top of the $203 billion that was lost between March and June, raising the total deficit to more than $323 billion in losses for all of 2020, according to the report. Hospitals are also bracing for a significant uptick in the amount of uncompensated care that will be sought by individuals who have lost their jobs and/or their health insurance because of the pandemic.
Hospitals are suffering from fewer inpatients and outpatients, volumes that will remain lower than expected for the rest of this year and into 2021, according to the survey.
The AHA cautioned that the actual losses for the remainder of 2020 could be much higher than projected, if the sudden spike in the number of confirmed cases in certain states continues to grow. Nearly half of individuals who participated in one survey have skipped or postponed medical care because of concerns about coronavirus.
“While states have begun easing restrictions on social contact, many restrictions and policies remain in place for hospitals and health systems to ensure public health,” the report stated. “In some states, restrictions are being re-imposed after new increases in case rates.”
Visits to hospital emergency rooms, for example, have declined 43% during 2020, compared with last year, according to the report.
For companies that collect healthcare debt, this report is both good and bad news. There will definitely be an increased need for hospitals and healthcare facilities to try and recover as much of their unpaid debts as possible to cover their projected losses, but hospitals nationwide are also facing severe shortfalls that could also lead to them closing down and more consolidation in the healthcare industry.