Baystate Health System is set to lose nearly $10 billion in federal funding in the coming weeks, and it is not expecting any major issues from the shutdown.
“We are prepared for this,” Baystate CEO Bill Fitch told Business Insider in an exclusive interview.
“But I think we’re going to be okay.”
It’s a far cry from the crisis that rocked the US healthcare industry, when healthcare systems in the US, Europe and Asia all faced severe disruptions as a result of the virus.
This week, Baystate announced it had been hit hard, with the healthcare system losing around $10 million per day.
That was due to “severe operational and maintenance issues” at the facility, Fitch said.
“The Baystate health systems are working with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to address this issue, and the U,S.
Congress is committed to funding this as part of a continuing resolution to fund the government through October,” Baystons CEO Bill Freitch said in a statement.
The company said it had secured additional funding from other sources, including from other health systems, but said it was not anticipating any major problems from the delay.
The healthcare system in question is located in the Kansas City metropolitan area, which is home to over half of the state’s population.
The government shutdown also affected the state of Missouri, which had to delay paying its employees until January 6.
The US has been hit with the virus for the first time in US history, but there are no major medical centers that can handle patients, Fitches said.
So far, Bayston has been the largest healthcare system to suffer from the pandemic.
“It’s been a slow, but steady decline, and I think that’s a sign that the system is very prepared for it,” Fitch continued.
The closure has also impacted the company’s ability to pay for the costs of healthcare services, he said.
For instance, “we’re paying out less than the Medicare rate of $1,400 a month,” he said, which means the healthcare provider is only able to provide a fraction of what it needs to keep patients healthy.
Fitch expects the system to be able to cover the remaining costs from the temporary shutdown with the help of government-subsidized health savings accounts.
“As soon as we get back into the normal operation mode, we expect to be reimbursed fairly easily,” he told Business Insights.
“I think we are just going to have to keep working on our systems to make it work.”
It could take months for healthcare systems to reopen, so the healthcare industry may have to wait longer for its services.
“Until the situation is normalized, we are not prepared for the shutdown,” Fitches added.
“Once we get into the normality of it, we will be ready.”