UAB Hospital is taking a financial hit from COVID-19. Officials announced Friday a projected loss of $70 million per month due to reduced clinical visits, elective surgeries and hospital stays.
“To get ready for the COVID crisis and to take care of these patients, we had to significantly decrease our clinical activity,” said UAB Health System CEO Will Ferniany in a video statement. “During the first month, we had about 3,000 elective surgery visits canceled … almost 11,000 less patient days in our hospital, and about 85,000 fewer visits to our clinics.”
Ferniany said the health system is estimated to lose around $230 million by the end of the fiscal year on September 30. He said UAB has received about $30 million in federal stimulus money to help hospitals deal with the crisis, and will seek additional financial assistance through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). He said officials are minimizing expenses and have stopped all hiring and travel.
“To deal with this, and we have to deal with it so we can be ready to care for the people of Alabama in the future, we’re trying to re-open the hospital as quickly and safely as possible, to be here to treat the people that need our care,” Ferniany said.
UAB Hospital is the largest in Alabama. It has cared for 185 COVID-19 patients, roughly 25% of those who have been hospitalized for the virus statewide. UAB officials say the health system has been instrumental in helping Alabama fight the virus by expanding testing capacity, leading in research efforts and consulting with state leadership.