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Hospitals facing financial shortfalls "unlike anything" ever experienced because of coronavirus

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Posted at 1:02 PM, Apr 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-17 05:20:50-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Across the state, hospitals have stopped performing elective surgeries. This was by order of Governor Cuomo to increase hospital capacity for a potential surge in coronavirus patients.

While it's been less than a month since that directive, many hospital systems have lost a lot of money.

According to a statement issued to 7 Eyewitness News by Catholic Heath, "In addition to the loss of elective surgeries and most outpatient services, volume in our emergency departments, primary care centers, and other specialty clinics has dropped by as much as 50 percent."

The statement says the coronavirus coupled with governmental orders has created a "financial shortfall unlike anything we have ever experienced."

As a result of this significant loss of revenue, senior leaders at Catholic Health are taking an "extended" 20% pay cut.

“As always, we will continue to direct all necessary resources to the bedside, ensuring that our caregivers have the supplies and equipment they need to provide the highest quality care and service to our patients and residents,” said Mark Sullivan, President and CEO of Catholic Health.

Sullivan went on to say, "We are starting to plan ahead for the time when we can reopen our facilities and I have every confidence that the hard work and commitment of our caregivers have shown throughout this crisis will make Catholic Health even stronger in the future."

Hospitals throughout Western New York, New York State and the nation are facing similar problems.

At Erie County Medical Center, President and CEO Tom Quatroche Jr. told 7 Eyewitness News Anchor Ed Drantch, "We're losing about half a million per day, just because of lost revenue and increased expense."

During a one-on-one Instagram Live interview, Quatroche said many hospitals, at different levels, are going to have financial issues coming out of the COVID-19 crisis.

"We're not unique," Quatroche said. "I've heard other hospitals quote other numbers, like $5 million a day across the state."

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ECMC is in a good financial position, according ot Quatroche. "Luckily we've managed our finances well and we're in a good cash position to whether the storm, so to speak."

He would not say if there's any conversation about layoff or furloughs. Quatroche said ECMC's philosophy is to keep everyone working because ""right now we need our staff for a potential surge."

Quatroche said there's going to have to be some help for hospitals in the future.

At Catholic Health, Sullivan believes "The federal government will provide some relief and we will continue to work with our local payors (sic) to further compensate our system for the care we are providing. However, these actions will not be enough to make up for the financial losses we have incurred."