Florida hospitals lose billions due to pandemic measures
MIAMI (AP) — Florida hospitals say they have collectively lost nearly $4 billion in the past four months because of the coronavirus.
Even with financial aid from the government, hospitals around the state said they are hemorrhaging money due to increased staffing costs, testing and other protective equipment, along with lost revenue from patients delaying care or canceling elective surgeries.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has financially shocked our health care system,” Florida Hospital Association’s Interim President Crystal Stickle said in a statement Friday.
The group represents over 200 hospitals, and estimated projected losses through August at $7.4 billion.
The state health department reported Friday 4,684 new confirmed cases and 119 new deaths from the virus.
Hospitalizations due to COVID-19 have also been declining over the past month. Late Friday morning, 4,909 patients were being treated for the disease in Florida hospitals compared to Thursday’s 5,340 patients. That number has fallen from a peak above 9,500 on July 23.
Meanwhile, Florida’s unemployment rate rose 1% in July and now stands at 11.3%, according to statistics released by the Department of Economic Opportunity. There were more than 1.1 million jobless Floridians out of a workforce of nearly 10 million people.
The number of jobs in Florida was down about a half million from July 2019, the agency said.
Osceola County had the highest unemployment rate at 20.1%, followed by Orange County at 16.1% and Miami-Dade County at 14.2%.