The COVID-19 pandemic is having a financial impact on hospitals.
Saint Francis said it’s absorbed millions of dollars in expenses, and while CARES Act funding has covered some of it, it hasn’t covered all of it.
Deborah Dage is the Vice President of Finance for Saint Francis Health System and said their goal throughout the pandemic has been to serve the community and not to add any more financial stress on people already struggling.
That's why she said they are not billing patients for COVID-19 services not covered by insurance.
Dage said the pandemic has also provided some additional costs for the hospital system.
In 2020, she said they spent $4 million paying employees who were out sick or quarantined, $7.4 million on additional salary costs, which includes incentive pay and travel nurses, and $20 million on retention bonuses that included a 3% raise for employees.
They also spent $6.5 million on capital projects, $9.5 million for COVID testing and lab supplies and anticipate spending $20 million on COVID-19 treatments and drugs.
"We continue to incur these costs across the health system,” said Dage. “The fight isn't over. Even though our numbers are decreasing in the last few weeks, we continue to see new COVID patients every day."
Saint Francis also announced it is now giving out booster doses of the Pfizer vaccine.