Over the past three years, Alabama hospitals have been in danger financially as a report from the Alabama Hospital Association shows they lost $1.5 billion.
Dr. Don Williamson, the president of the Alabama Hospital Association is blaming the covid-19 pandemic for its downfall. He said since 2019 the revenue increases have not matched the expense increase — 2022’s was 2.6 billion dollars more than 2019’s.
The increase in expenses comes from having to pay extra money to keep hospitals staffed with workers to take care of patients during the pandemic.
“It created a much more expensive labor market because of that it drove up the cost of staff work, medication, and supplies all of those things together resulted in the crisis we find ourselves in,” Williamson said
For a local hospital like Southeast Health, public records show in 2020 they had a revenue of 895 thousand dollars, over 435 thousand in functional expenses for a net income of over 459 thousand.
For hospitals who didn’t turn out so well, Williamson says the pandemic blow could create a huge threat for Alabamians to have access to healthcare.
“25 of the hospitals in Alabama are at risk of closing and out of that 15 are at immediate risk of closing. Rural hospitals like you pointed out are more at risk but we have urban ones too 50 percent are losing money every year,” He said.
With Alabama losing the most money out of any state, he hopes the legislature will give a significant portion of the 1 billion dollars in ARPA funds to hospitals.