by jerry on May 31, 2020
In March, many hospitals cancelled scheduled procedures to make room for potential COVID-19 patients. Those cancellations, in conjunction with Americans' fear of getting infected at hospitals (and perhaps other reasons), have led to a dramatic reduction in hospital procedures. The Kaiser Family Foundation released poll results showing that about half of the public indicated that they skipped or postponed medical care because of the pandemic. It is perhaps not surprising, then, that CNBC reported that hospitals are collectively losing billions of dollars per month (the American Hospital Association estimates $50 billion per month). Such financial losses will undoubtedly have significant repercussions to hospital operations.
Many businesses -- not just hospitals -- often run on thin margins and are not necessarily built to withstand large financial shocks. It is also unclear when society will return to "normal" or what "normal" in the future will look like. Coming out of this pandemic, medical care might look different from what Americans had gotten used to.