Officials: COVID a financial hammer on New Mexico hospitals

ALBUQUERQUE, NM (AP) — The pandemic is financially stressing New Mexico hospitals because the money they are receiving to treat patients with COVID-19 is not keeping up with rising costs, officials said.

New Mexico Hospital Association President and CEO Troy Clark said it’s incorrect to think hospitals are doing well financially because they’re full. He said that assumption ignores the fact that federal relief provided to hospitals hasn’t made up for reimbursement shortfalls, according to the Albuquerque Journal. reported.

“Medicare pays you what Medicare pays you; Medicaid pays you what Medicaid pays you; trade assurance payments are renegotiated every one to three years, but you don’t renegotiate every week when costs rise,” he said.

University of New Mexico Hospital CEO Kate Becker said hospital expenses exceeded revenues by $4.6 million for the now half-completed fiscal year.

Becker cited that reimbursements have not kept up with rising personnel and supply costs

It doesn’t help that many COVID-19 patients currently don’t need intensive care beds, but still need expensive care elsewhere in the hospital.

“But a lot of the revenue these patients generate is not equivalent to some of the revenue we were seeing last year when the mix was more people in intensive care,” she said.

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