From bizjournals.com, link to full story at bottom of post:
Hospitals are facing “dire financial consequences” and furloughing staff, as cutbacks meant to prepare for COVID-19 cases have instead cost them as much as $575 million a month, about 30-40% of normal revenues.
The cancellation of elective procedures meant to free up beds for potential coronavirus patients, combined with a drop in emergency room visits, has deprived hospitals of the “cash cows” they need to stay afloat.
The result is health care centers in financial distress, at risk of closing or reducing staff, said Dr. Daniel Derksen, director of the Arizona Center for Rural Health at the University of Arizona.
“If you don’t have the revenues to support paying your nurses and physicians and staff and transport, lab, imaging, X-rays, those types of things, it creates just an untenable situation,” Derksen said.
Gov. Doug Ducey last month issued two executive orders directing hospitals to simultaneously increase capacity while cutting nonessential surgeries like knee replacements and minor cancers. Hospitals complied, but it was not without cost, said Arizona Public Health Association Executive Director Will Humble.
“Revenue is down and expenses are up,” Humble said. “If you don’t have the cash reserves to carry yourself through, you’re in big trouble fast even meeting payrolls.”
On Wednesday, Ducey told Arizona Capitol Times that he understands the problem and he’s open to a partial loosening of the restrictions on elective services if the data supports doing so.
The governor told the Times he still wants to make sure hospital capacity is sufficient to handle COVID-19 cases, with sufficient supply of personal protective equipment, ventilators and other needed items.
Ed.: Oh, about the data… here are the numbers. As you read them, hold in the front of your mind that we have eight million (8,000,000) people in AZ: