Financially Strapped Doctors, Hospitals Eyeing Insurers’ Profits With Increasing Distrust
Executives and advisers from eight hospitals across Massachusetts use phrases like “sucking us dry,” “bloodbath” and “shameful,” on background, to describe health insurers, whom they see as sitting on piles of unspent health care premiums that they could be using to keep clinicians afloat. In other news, patient advocates want to make sure the neediest hospitals are getting federal aid.
Where’s The Money? A Dispute Boils Between Doctors, Hospitals And Health Insurers In Mass.
As the intense focus on preparing for the COVID-19 surge shifts, there’s mounting anger from providers directed at insurance companies. The providers’ main questions are: Where have you been, and where’s the money? Executives and advisers from eight hospitals across Massachusetts use phrases like “sucking us dry,” “bloodbath” and “shameful,” on background, to describe health insurers. None would talk on the record for fear of retaliation. (Bebinger, 5/8)
Large Health Insurers Appear Immune To COVID-19
The largest national health insurers emerged from the first quarter of the year without so much as a scratch from the COVID-19 crisis. And while it’s unclear how long the pandemic will last and how many people will become infected, insurers are betting they ultimately will come out on top. (Livingston, 5/9)
San Francisco Chronicle:
Coronavirus Costs Bay Area Hospitals Millions, Crippling Those That Serve Low-Income Patients
Bay Area medical centers have spent millions to prepare for a huge COVID-19 surge that hasn’t materialized, delayed thousands of nonemergency surgeries, and put off countless other in-person appointments. Now, health care providers of every kind are struggling to balance the books. San Francisco General Hospital, a city-subsidized nonprofit operation that usually earns too little to cover expenses, has lost $20 million since the shelter-in-place order took hold in mid-March, spokesman Brent Andrew said. (Moench, 5/10)
Coronavirus: Should Rich Hospitals Bankroll Better Pandemic Plans?
Struggling hospitals and those hardest hit by COVID-19 should get more federal funding than nonprofit hospital systems with large endowments, patient safety advocates and other critics say. An analysis for USA TODAY by OpenTheBooks.com shows the 20 nonprofit hospitals ranked by investments reported more than $116 billion in investments, including endowments. And although flush with money, critics say the tax-exempt systems also failed to adequately invest in basic emergency planning before the pandemic. (O'Donnell, 5/10)
Kaiser Health News:
‘An Arm And A Leg’: Health Care Takes A Financial Hit In The Midst Of Pandemic
You’ve probably noticed that the U.S. economy is crashing. What you might not expect is that almost half of the economic devastation comes from just one sector — health care. That’s according to a first-quarter 2020 estimate of U.S. gross domestic product from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, which pundits later shared on social media. (Weissmann, 5/11)