Page 27 - BusinessWest July 20, 2020
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 Guy DiStefano says the non- urgent procedures that were shut down in March typically support the rest of what hospitals do, leading to major revenue shortfalls this spring.
Critical B
Hospitals Bleed Millions in Revenue from Lost Volume During Pandemic
By Joseph Bednar
ack in March, when COVID-19 was just start- ing to crest, hospitals took steps to brace for a potential surge of patients. But while COVID-
19 surged, revenues slowed to a trickle. “Early on, we realized we needed to build
capacity for a surge of patients so we didn’t get over- whelmed like they did in New York City, so we shut things down early in March — which blew a hole in everybody’s finances,” said Mark Keroack, president and CEO of Baystate Health. “We’ve been gradually returning to prior operations. We always remained open, of course, but it was only a week or two ago that we resumed more elective kinds of cases.”
Many hospitals are doing the same, but the overall losses to the state’s hospital industry are, as Keroack put it, “stag- gering” — expected to total between $5 billion and $6 bil- lion by the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30. “It’s a big stress test, if you will, for hospitals. And some have been hit more than others.”
All area hospitals have taken a financial blow.
“This has been very challenging, with the reduction in services,” said Guy DiStefano, vice president of Finance at Mercy Medical Center. “All our outpatient services — what are termed non-urgent cases, which usually help feed and support what a hospital does in its normal, day-to-day busi- ness — has been shorted, leaving us with a great revenue shortfall.”
At the same time, he added, “we still have all our expens-
  26 JULY 20, 2020 HEALTHCARE BusinessWest

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