Wealthy hospitals have a cushion to weather coronavirus crisis that safety-net facilities don’t

May 14, 2020

Inova Health System, located  in some of the wealthiest suburbs of Washington, D.C., and Truman Medical Centers, a safety-net hospital in downtown Kansas City, Missouri, are confronting the same financial issues, according to an article on the Kaiser Health News website.

But Truman has less than a month’s worth of cash reserves  while Inova has enough money to operate for at least 21 months.

“At the end of the day, not all hospitals are created equal,” Charlie Shields, Truman’s president and CEO, said in the article. “If you were sitting on a year of … cash on hand, that would not be as challenging, but most safety-net hospitals are south of 25 days, and we’re probably around 10. How do you manage through that?”

However,  Dr. J. Stephen Jones, Inova’s president and CEO, said, “Our finances are a mess at this point,” with the system postponing non-urgent treatments and eliminating 427 administration and management positions. “This is an existential threat to every health care organization, no matter how strong they come into it,” said Jones, who cut his own salary by 25%.

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