Washington hospitals project $3.5B loss by end of fiscal year

Washington hospitals are projecting between a $3.5 and $4 billion operating loss by the end of the fiscal year as the financial fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic proves to be immensely damaging for hospital revenue in the state, the Puget Sound Business Journal reported Jan. 20.

More than half of the state's hospitals could be out of cash by the end of 2023. The high cost of contract labor is driving up the state's hospital expenses. Last winter and spring, some hospitals were paying contract nurses up to $250 per hour.

At a Bellevue Chamber of Commerce event, Washington hospital executives warned that the healthcare industry is on a path toward more service cut-backs and longer emergency department wait times.

"The aftermath of the hurricane is worse than the hurricane itself," Washington State Hospital Association President and CEO Cassie Sauer said at the event.

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