Nonprofit health systems see investments slide as COVID-19 ravages economy

Like a majority of providers across the United States, nonprofit health systems have taken a major hit to their bottom line as the coronavirus pandemic forced them to suspend revenue-driving procedures and stock up for surges in critical care patients.

Numbers from the first quarter of this year showed major systems like CommonSpirit Health and Kaiser Permanente posting losses of more than $1 billion. They also cited huge drops in investment income as the stock market went into free fall following business closures and stay-at-home orders that largely shut down the economy.

The first quarter only showed the beginning of the pandemic’s effects. Most health systems started halting elective procedures in the middle of March. The second quarter is likely to be a sea of red ink for nonprofits, Fitch Ratings has warned.

But large, diverse systems, could still be in a relatively good position to weather the crisis. Academic medical center Mayo Clinic in its first quarter report noted it has more than 250 days cash on hand, for example.

And providers have gotten some help from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, which allocated $100 billion to providers. That money has been going out in multiple waves with different funding formulas. The latest wave, however, has been shown to favor for-profit systems.

Here’s Healthcare Dive’s coverage of some of the largest nonprofit health systems’ performance in the first quarter of 2020.