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Covid-19 pandemic shows up in the bottom line at BayCare

Margie Manning



BayCare Health System headquarters in Clearwater

The Tampa-St. Petersburg area’s largest health system is seeing the financial fallout from Covid-19.

BayCare Health System in Clearwater posted $50 million in operating income for the three months ended March 31. That was down 45 percent from the $91.4 million in operating income BayCare had in the same quarter in 2019, according to a financial report filed for bondholders.

Separately, Tampa General Hospital, the largest hospital in the area, reported a 97 percent drop in operating income for the just-ended quarter, compared to the same period a year earlier, financial reports from its parent company, Florida Health Sciences Center, showed.

Both organizations have since gotten millions of dollars in funding from the Provider Relief Fund that was included in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or the CARES Act,  signed into law in late March.

Scroll down to see a list of the largest local health care providers that received CARES Act funding.

BayCare, the largest health system in the Tampa-St. Petersburg area, last month said it expected a significant impact from coronavirus, when it sold about $600 million in bonds in April. The first quarter 2020 financial report BayCare released May 8 confirmed that.

A state-mandated halt on elective medical and surgical procedures in the last several days of the quarter was the primary reason for the decline, said Janice Polo, chief financial officer.

Janice Polo, CFO, BayCare

“We stopped doing electives on around March 20. As a result of that, we did see a decline in revenue related to the decline in the volumes,” Polo said. “BayCare has not furloughed or cut staff, so when you have a decrease in volume but you are still paying your team members, you will have a reduction in operating income.”

The non-profit health system, with 15 hospitals and hundreds of other facilities, also geared up for a potential surge in Covid-19 inpatient cases and staffed drive-through testing facilities.

“Our response was not just showing up at hospitals but repositioning assets to provide the community what they need,” said Joni James, director of system communications.

The federal CARES Act funding will help offset much of the lost patient revenue, Polo said. BayCare facilities received about $78 million combined, Polo said.

BayCare also reported a $706.3 million loss in non-operating revenue, or investment income, as the markets dipped in March. The markets have since rebounded some.

The non-operating revenue loss is “unrealized,” or a loss on paper. Still, it pulled BayCare’s total deficiency of revenues and gains over expenses deep into the red. BayCare’s Q1 2020 total deficit was $656.4 million, compared to a total surplus of $399.4 million in the year-ago period.

“BayCare has a lot of  financial strength. That’s the benefit of having a strong balance sheet. You can weather times like this. I think BayCare is in a great position to be able to handle this type of environment,” Polo said.

It’s difficult to anticipate future trends.

“A lot of it is unknown, to be honest. We are starting back with electives. People have to feel comfortable coming back to healthcare. It’s more about us providing a safe environment, which we are, but there are a lot of unknowns still,” Polo said.

Tampa General Hospital had a nearly $12 million gain from operations for the three months ended March 31, 2019, which is the second quarter of the hospital’s fiscal year. This year’s second quarter financial report showed a much different picture.

The hospital was not able to provide a comment on the decline in operating income before publication deadline.

In the first six months of the fiscal year, Tampa General reported operating income of $8.9 million, down 61.4 percent from the year-ago period.

Tampa General also posted an unrealized, or paper, loss of $65.6 million on investment income in the three months ended March 31, pushing its total loss for FY Q2 2020 to $60.1 million. Year to date, the total loss is $23.8 million.

Nationally, hospitals are losing as much as $50 billion a month, according to the American Hospital Association.

In addition to rising costs in preparing for a surge and decreased revenue from elective procedures, Rick Pollack, president and CEO of the AHA, told International Travel and Health Insurance Journal that there’s an increased number of uninsured people, as a result of the economic situation.

Closer look: Provider relief

In response to the crisis, the federal government began disbursing $30 billion in aid to hospitals across the country in April. On May 1, another $20 billion was released.

Here’s a list of the largest recipients in the Tampa-St. Petersburg metro area, as reported by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

$67.3million — Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute, Tampa

$25.5 million — Florida Health Sciences Center, Tampa (parent company of Tampa General Hospital)

$25.4 million — St. Joseph’s Hospital, Tampa (BayCare)

$23.8 million — H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute Hospital, Tampa

$21 million — Lincare Pharmacy Services, Pinellas Park

$15.7 milion — Morton Plant Hospital Association, New Port Richey (BayCare)

$9.4 million — Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, St. Petersburg

$9.1 million — Trustees of Mease Hospital, Clearwater (BayCare)

$7.9 million — St. Anthony’s Hospital, St. Petersburg (BayCare)

$5.7 million — Hospice of the Florida Suncoast, Clearwater

$4.7 million — Lifepath Hospice, Tampa

$4.3 million — BayCare Medical Group, St. Petersburg

$4.3 million — Bayfront HMA Medical Center, St. Petersburg

$3.7 million — BayCare Home Care, Largo

$2.7 million — South Florida Baptist Hospital, Valrico (BayCare)

$2.4 million — University Medical Service Association, Tampa

$2.3 million — Hernando-Pasco Hospice, ST. Peterburg

$1.9 million — Gulfside Hospice, New Port Richey

$1.9 million — Moffitt Life Time Cancer Screening Center, Tampa

$1.6 million — Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners, Largo

$1.3 million — Ear Nose & Throat Associates of South Florida PA, Tampa

$1.3 million — Florida Musculoskeletal Surgical Group LLC, Riverview

$1.2 million — Gulf-To-Bay Anesthesiology Associates LC, Tampa


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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Avatar

    Ruth Zatik

    May 12, 2020at5:33 pm

    My Baycare physicians used telemedicine for my scheduled appointments and that worked well.

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