Colorado hospitals projected to lose billions in revenue because of pandemic

By Seth Klamann | The Denver Gazette

Colorado hospitals are projected to lose between $4.6 billion and $7.1 billion in revenue in 2020 and 2021, losses that will be only partially offset by federal stimulus money, according to an analysis by the state hospital association.

Once stimulus money and cuts by hospitals are taken into account, the hole shrinks to between $2 billion and $4.4 billion. But even the lower end of that scale is 11 percent of total hospital revenue, which in recent years has been roughly $18 billion. If the projections are correct, hospitals will lose 11% this year, plus another 11% next year.

While one hospital official said that facilities weren’t at risk of closing right now, that concern could grow, depending on how the financials look in the next 12 months. Particularly at risk are small, more rural facilities, which operate on much tighter margins than the Goliath systems that populate urban areas. Nationwide, at least 16 rural hospitals have closed in 2020, according to the University of North Carolina.

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