Three publicly-traded health systems—among some of the largest systems in the U.S.—collectively took home more than $1.1 billion in federal stimulus funds for woes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
During earnings calls over the last week, executives from HCA Healthcare, Universal Healthcare Services and Community Health Systems each told analysts how much in bailouts they took home from the feds.
They also said they received more than $5.5 billion in accelerated Medicare payments.
The CARES Act, passed last month, allocated $100 billion to cover related expenses for meeting COVID-19 outbreak and for recouping lost revenue. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services also announced healthcare providers and suppliers could receive accelerated and advance payments from the Medicare program to offer emergency funding and address cash flow issues caused by COVID-19 disruptions.
CMS has since said it was suspending advance payments to providers and is reevaluating accelerated payments for hospitals after doling out about $100 billion.
HCA Healthcare Chief Financial Officer Bill Rutherford said the economic assistance that made a major difference in stabilizing the health system included about $700 million in funds from the stimulus package.
The company also benefited from about $4 billion in accelerated Medicare payments. That money will be repaid over an eight-month period beginning in August, he said.
The company has also benefited from the deferral of the employer portion of payroll taxes, which the company estimates at $75 million a month. Those deferrals will have to be paid in 2021 and 2022, he said.
Tenet Healthcare releases its first-quarter earnings early next week.