Richmond Times-Dispatch : 2020-06-15

HEALTH : 21 : C1


HEALTH John Ramsey (804) 649-6911 jramsey@timesdispa­ ••• SECTION C • RICHMOND TIMES-DISPATCH • MONDAY, JUNE 15, 2020 • RICHMOND.COM As hospitals work to reassure those spooked by COVID-19 that it’s safe to return, revenue falls and worries rise that delays in care may hurt patients. STILLOPENF­ORBUSINESS Patients wear thin $50B doctor says. The video published on YouTube in mid-May is part of a marketing campaign by Tenet Healthcare, which operates 65 hospitals and about 250 ambulatory surgery centers. It’s one attempt to solve a problem the entire health care industry faces: Most patients vanished when COVID-19 swept the country. Much of routine health care came to a halt in March as hospitals cleared space for an expected wave of COVID-19 patients and authoritie­s ordered a halt to surgeries and other procedures that could be postponed. The decline in volume has clobbered hospital finances, with the industry estimating it is losing $50 billion a month. BY JOHN TOZZI Bloomberg News Amount the hospital industry estimates it’s losing with the decline in business because of the pandemic An executive at a Palm Beach, Fla., hospital stands between a box of surgical masks and a Purell dispenser. “We understand you haven’t been inside our hospitals for some time,” she says to the camera. The executive is delivering her line for a promotiona­l video intended to get people back to hospitals after almost three months of avoiding the place at all costs. Moments later, the film crew records her in an idled operating room, chatting with a vascular surgeon who soothingly reassures that a hospital is the cleanest place to be outside your home. “The hospital is safer than the grocery store,” the 42% Drop in ER visits in April compared to the same period last year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention HOSPITALS, Page C2 | | | !! "#$% &' ()* ! # $% " &&&

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