A recent article in the Los Angeles Times, “Trump doled out billions to drug makers and hospitals with few strings attached,” misses the mark. The reality is that America’s hospitals and health systems are facing their greatest financial crisis. Due in large part to the costs of preparing for and treating COVID-19 patients, and lost revenue from canceled or delayed non-emergent care, the hospital field will lose over $320 billion in 2020. Even before the pandemic the financial state of many hospitals was fragile, with one out of every four hospitals operating in the red.
This financial crisis is a serious obstacle to keeping the doors open for many hospitals, which provide essential public services 24/7 to anyone who walks through the doors. Congress on a bipartisan basis, and the Administration recognized the critical role hospitals play as the backbone of our health care system and took steps to ensure hospitals remain on the front lines of care. Congress intended for this funding to be allocated quickly, and the Administration to their credit worked to get the funding to hospitals, physicians and other providers in an expeditious manner.
These funds, which providers are held accountable for under law, have allowed hospitals to continue to be there for their communities…always there, ready to care.
In addition, the hospital field continues to work hard to keep prices down, with data showing hospital prices have grown less than 3% per year, and often grown less than the average rate of inflation.