Tallahassee - Today, the Florida Hospital Association (FHA) released its initial assessment of COVID-19's impact on Florida's hospitals, estimating $3.8 billion in financial losses through the end of June. These staggering net losses, which account for federal relief funding, represent just four months of data. Projected costs through August are $7.4 billion.
View financial impact infographic.
"The COVID-19 pandemic has financially shocked our health care system," said FHA Interim President Crystal Stickle. "These losses are reflected in every aspect of hospital operations from emergency response to routine health care. For example, increased staffing costs, lost revenue from canceled procedures, patients delaying care and purchases of personal protective equipment, testing supplies and medications, including remdesevir."
While vital, federal relief funding is just a down payment on needed funds to ensure a resilient health care system capable of:
- Absorbing additional uncompensated care costs as the number of Floridians losing jobs and health insurance increases.
- Continuing to deliver superior care for all Floridians.
- Ensuring preparedness for possible new waves of COVID-19 cases.
Even before COVID-19, Florida's hospitals had more than $3 billion in uncompensated care costs. That burden will only increase as hospitals keep their promise to deliver essential medical care to all who need it, regardless of ability to pay.
COVID-19-related expenses will also continue. Protecting our workforce will require sustained outlays for PPE for the foreseeable future. Maintaining separate spaces for COVID-19 patients and ensuring adequate ventilator and medication supplies will continue to drive increased expenses. All this occurs while pre-COVID levels of health care use have not returned. Although hospitals are safe and ready to care for all Floridians, many unfortunately continue to delay needed care, from vaccines to cancer screenings.
COVID-19 has underscored the need for a strong health care system and also highlighted longstanding vulnerabilities. To move forward, we must collectively invest in preparedness, a resilient workforce, supply chain efficiencies and payment models that support hospitals' work and commitment to their communities.
FHA will continue to gather data on financial impact to Florida's hospitals and share when available.
About the Florida Hospital Association
The Florida Hospital Association comprises over 200 hospitals and health systems from across the state. Through representation and advocacy, education and informational services, we support the mission of our members to provide the highest quality of care to the patients we serve. For more information, visit www.fha.org.