Full Circle Healthcare: Managing the Financial Crisis in Healthcare Due to COVID-19
Every business in every industry is currently experiencing the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Perhaps no sector is experiencing hardships more than healthcare. Not only are hospitals and healthcare professionals on the front lines of battling the pandemic, but the inability to provide elective procedures, and routine healthcare during the crisis has put hospitals and clinics in a devastating economic crunch.
“Running healthcare as a business during a pandemic is a challenge, because the priority is taking care of people who are the sickest and not doing elective surgeries,” Macfarlane said.
To keep these institutions afloat, the U.S. federal government is supplying hospitals with funds to ensure they have sufficient supplies, staffing and everything else they need to weather the pandemic.
“Congress has gone through three rounds of funding so far, totaling about $2 trillion, and the Senate just passed a new round of funding,” Macfarlane said.
Even with multiple rounds of funding already, Macfarlane expects to see additional allocations to handle future spikes of the virus in areas, especially for those states who opt to reopen their economies before the virus reaches its peak.
With the lion’s share of public service federal stimulus going toward hospitals, how are smaller clinics and doctor’s offices handling the pandemic from a financial standpoint, when their ability to conduct “business as usual” has been put on indefinite hold?
“The SBA is going to be funding clinics through two primary programs: the paycheck protection program and an economic industry disaster program,” Macfarlane said.
And, while the initial round of the paycheck protection program exhausted its funding in 13 days, Congress has since replenished the program with an additional $320 billion.
Because the SBA manages these programs through local banks, Macfarlane recommended clinics ensure they have established a relationship with a local bank and to reach out to them for assistance as needed.
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