Report: Hospitals, health systems took pandemic revenue hit

December 9, 2021 GMT
FILE - Healthcare workers at Saint Francis Hospital gather outside during a visit from Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont, on May 7, 2020, in Hartford, Conn. A new report shows hospitals and health care systems across Connecticut took a major revenue hit during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
FILE - Healthcare workers at Saint Francis Hospital gather outside during a visit from Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont, on May 7, 2020, in Hartford, Conn. A new report shows hospitals and health care systems across Connecticut took a major revenue hit during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Hospitals and health care systems across the state took a major revenue hit during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic but most have managed to remain profitable, according to a new report from the Connecticut Office of Health Strategy.

The total statewide gain in operating revenue for Connecticut hospitals was nearly $41 million over the recent federal fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30. That’s a 93% decline compared to the operating revenue gains from the prior fiscal year.

“Statewide, the financial performance of Connecticut’s hospitals and health care systems was substantially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said OHS Executive Director Vicki Veltri, in a statement. “The significant drop in utilization of elective inpatient and outpatient services, as hospitals worked to intervene and treat residents during the height of the pandemic, is also reflected in a significant drop in facility fee revenue at nearly all hospitals.”

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Net patient revenue at hospitals statewide, which was approximately $11.9 billion and accounted for 87% of operating revenues, decreased by $474 million over the prior year due to lower patient activity because of COVID-19, the report said.

Meanwhile, operating expenses at Connecticut’s hospitals increased by 8.7% to $13.6 billion, compared to the previous year. That was attributed to increases in salaries, wages, benefits and other expenses.

Veltri said the hospitals and health care systems did benefit from more than $1 billion in federal COVID-19 relief funds. And despite the pandemic, she said “most hospitals retain significant net assets.” The majority of hospitals and three-quarters of health care systems ended the federal fiscal year with a profit “due in part to the strong performance of the financial markets,” she said.