VHHA reveals COVID’s impact on hospitals

Coronavirus

RICHMOND, Va (WAVY) — Hospitals are bleeding money. The Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association (VHHA) reports revenue losses of more than $1.8 billion in 2020.

On Wednesday, VHHA released a report on COVID hospitalization trends.

The report shows inpatient care was down 10% in 2020 and Emergency Department visits were down 30%.

VHHA Vice President of Communications, Julian Walker, told WAVY hospitals overall lost a lot of revenue. “Hospitals did receive some relief from the CARES Act, but that relief, even with that relief hospitals still faced about a $1 billion revenue loss,” he said.

Childbirth and pregnancy services also declined last year, while treatment for alcohol and drug abuse increased.

“What none of us knows at this point is when things return to normal in a post COVID world; you know, what that normal looks like,” said Walker.

This data, he said, may help them determine how to offer services in the future. “I think it’s too early to make those determinations but this data can certainly help inform that evaluation process.”

Also revealed, a closer look at COVID-19 patients who’ve been hospitalized. VHHA reports 50,000 people went to Emergency Departments for COVID-19 in 2020. Of those patients, 37% were white and 32% were Black.

More than 30,000 people were hospitalized last year, between April and December. The average age of a COVID-19 patient was 67. 45% of those hospitalized were white and 28% were black.

Most COVID patients had a pre-existing condition like hypertension, diabetes and/or obesity.

More than half of patients hospitalized were sent home to recover. Of the 13% who died in the hospital, the average age was 74.

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