This month CMS released another two rounds of CARES funding for hospitals. At the same time, many WA hospitals continue to have a shaky financial forecast for the next year due to the ongoing impact of COVID-19. Washington hospitals can expect to see the same financial losses as the rest of the nation. A recent analysis done by Kaufmann Hall and Associates shows that on a national basis, even with CARES funding, hospital margins are expected to drop to -3% to -4% in the second quarter of 2020 and potentially be lower in the 3rd and 4th quarters of 2020 without additional CARES funding. This is primarily due to lower patient volumes and additional operating costs.
WSHA is undertaking a new survey on member hospitals’ financial status as of June 30 to be able to accurately inform WA legislators and policy makers on the impact of COVID-19 for our state. WA hospitals should also make sure to submit timely information to the Department of Health on year-end financial reporting and quarterly Databank reporting so that the agency can aggregate statewide data. (Eric Lewis, firstname.lastname@example.org).