ALABAMA (WHNT) – A recent study provided by the Alabama Hospital Association shows that Alabama hospitals are losing money at an alarming rate.
That data shows by Kaufman Hall and Associates that Alabama hospitals lost more than $1.5 billion since the COVID-19 pandemic causing an immeasurable financial crisis.
According to Dr. Don Williamson of the Alabama Hospital Association, the financial losses have been tracked for years, but 2022 alone saw Alabama hospitals lose over 700 million dollars.
“Every hospital around the country has had difficulty but Alabama has been worse than everybody else,” said Williamson.
Williamson told News 19 that if Alabama hospitals didn’t receive federal stimulus funds, the losses would have been over $2.4 billion.
“Fifty percent of all Alabama hospitals now are spending more than they are bringing in from operations,” Williamson explained. “They are spending down reserves so that’s a finite period of time. When you go through your reserves bad things happen.”
Williamson said the reasons for the losses were linked to the salaries of hospital workers going up, coupled with the price of drugs also going up.
Patients have come into the hospital sicker than ever before leading to longer hospital stays.
Plus, due to the drop in Medicaid coverage, the number of uninsured patients is going up, leading some to worry that rural hospitals may be set for closure.
“Many hospitals are running at a deficit and many rural hospitals have borne the brunt of some of these short funds,” said Dr. Wes Stubblefield of the Alabama Department of Public Health. “It’s a problem that plagues all hospitals but especially those that are in some of our rural communities.”
Williamson noted that the financial losses trend from 2022 will likely continue in 2023.