From reimbursement landscape challenges to dwindling patient volumes, many factors lead hospitals to file for bankruptcy. At least 29 hospitals across the U.S. have filed for bankruptcy this year, and the financial challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic may force more hospitals to enter bankruptcy in coming months.
COVID-19 has created a cash crunch for many hospitals across the nation. They’re estimated to lose $200 billion between March 1 and June 30, according to a report from the American Hospital Association. More than $161 billion of the expected revenue losses will come from canceled services, including nonelective surgeries and outpatient treatment. Moody’s Investors Service said the sharp declines in revenue and cash flow caused by the suspension of elective procedures could cause more hospitals to default on their credit agreements this year than in 2019.
The hospitals that have filed for bankruptcy this year, which are part of the health systems listed below, have not cited the pandemic as a factor that pushed them into bankruptcy. Though most of the hospitals are operating as normal throughout the bankruptcy process, at least two of the hospitals that entered bankruptcy this year have shut down.
Brentwood, Tenn.-based Quorum Health and its 23 hospitals filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy April 7. The company, a spinoff of Franklin, Tenn.-based Community Health Systems, said the bankruptcy filing is part of a plan to recapitalize the business and reduce its debt load.
Randolph Health, a single-hospital system based in Asheboro, N.C., filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy March 6. Randolph Health leaders have taken several steps in recent years to improve the health system’s financial picture, and they’ve made progress toward that goal. Entering Chapter 11 bankruptcy will allow Randolph Health to restructure its debt, which officials said is necessary to ensure the health system continues to provide care for many more years.
Faith Community Health System
Faith Community Health System, a single-hospital system based in Jacksboro, Texas, filed for bankruptcy protection on Feb. 29. The health system, part of the Jack County (Texas) Hospital District, entered Chapter 9 bankruptcy — a bankruptcy proceeding that offers distressed municipalities protection from creditors while a repayment plan is negotiated.
Pinnacle Healthcare System
Overland Park, Kan.-based Pinnacle Healthcare System and its hospitals in Missouri and Kansas filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Feb. 12. Pinnacle Regional Hospital in Boonville, Mo., formerly known as Cooper County Memorial Hospital, entered bankruptcy about a month after it abruptly shut down. Pinnacle Regional Hospital in Overland Park, formerly called Blue Valley Hospital, closed about two months after entering bankruptcy.
South Charleston, W.Va.-based Thomas Health and its two hospitals filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Jan. 10. In an affidavit filed in the bankruptcy case, Thomas Health President and CEO Daniel J. Lauffer cited several reasons the health system is facing financial challenges, including reduced reimbursement rates and patient outmigration. The health system said the bankruptcy process will help it address its long-term debt and pursue strategic opportunities.