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Press Release

SCHA Report Estimates $2.3 Billion Impact to SC Hospitals from COVID-19

(Columbia, SC – June 4, 2020) A new report released by the South Carolina Hospital Association (SCHA) confirms the severe financial strain put on the state’s hospitals and health systems by COVID-19.  As of May 7, roughly two months into the pandemic, South Carolina hospitals reported more than $208 million in unreimbursed spending to provide COVID-19 related care with another $740 million projected by the end of 2020.

In addition to the heroic efforts and increased spending by healthcare providers in response to COVID-19, hospitals have also lost significant revenue due to canceled and foregone health services. For South Carolina’s hospitals and health systems, that is an estimated $589 million through May 7, and another $791 million expected by the end of 2020.  Altogether, the total amount of unreimbursed COVID-related costs and lost revenues contribute to an anticipated adverse impact of $2.3 billion to SC hospitals in 2020.

“South Carolina’s hospitals and health systems have been working 24/7 to meet the increasing medical and public health needs of our citizens in response to COVID-19,” said SCHA President and CEO Thornton Kirby. “As we continue to push resources to the frontlines to battle this pandemic, we need the General Assembly’s support to ensure that our hospitals have the tools necessary to face the unprecedented challenges before them.”

The data points included in the report are based on survey responses representing a majority of the state’s hospital capacity. This initial survey includes expenses for buying more and costlier masks and protective equipment, increasing testing capacity within hospitals and offering those tests in the community, establishing temporary medical facilities, deploying new telehealth screening and treatment tools, and a multitude of other COVID-19 related costs. These figures already take into account funding received from the Coronavirus aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act passed by Congress on March 27.

SCHA is a private, not-for-profit organization founded in 1921 to serve as the collective voice of South Carolina’s hospital community. Today it represents approximately 100 member hospitals and health systems and 500 personal members. Together, we are leading South Carolina to a better state of health.