Albany, NY — Most hospitals in New York and elsewhere ended their 2020 fiscal years in the black after receiving billions in relief from Washington, an analysis of their financial filings shows. This comes despite the many costly and painful disruptions imposed by the COVID pandemic. 

Among reports filed by 147 hospitals across the state, 58 percent showed positive net margins for the year. 

Nationwide, there was a similar pattern. Among the 3,500 U.S. hospitals that have filed their cost reports for 2020, 78 percent showed positive net margins. 

Under a series of relief packages enacted in 2020 and 2021, the federal government has distributed a total of $121 billion in emergency funding for hospitals and other health-care providers nationwide. New York providers received $13 billion, including $8.4 billion for hospitals. That was the largest total of any state and the second-highest per-capita amount after South Dakota. 

This federal emergency funding appears to have largely offset financial losses resulting from spiking costs and diminished revenue, putting most hospitals’ books in balance through most of the pandemic’s first year, which was its worst period for New York. 

“The Legislature is currently considering a budget that would increase state funding for hospitals across-the-board – including for institutions that received large amounts of relief funding and appear to have weathered the pandemic with relatively healthy bottom lines,” said Bill Hammond, senior fellow for health policy at the Empire Center. “Before committing additional taxpayer funds, lawmakers should seek a full accounting of the aid hospitals and other providers have already received and assure that any further relief is properly targeted to parts of the health system with greatest need.” 

Read the full report here. 

The Empire Center, based in Albany, is an independent, not-for-profit, non-partisan think tank dedicated to promoting policies that can make New York a better place to live, work and raise a family.

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