Atrium Health Care Posts $30M Q1 Loss

One of North Carolina’s largest health care systems lost millions of dollars in the first quarter. The reason for the loss: concentration on care of coronavirus patients. 

Atrium Health, headquartered in Charlotte, announced losses of $30 million in the first quarter. Operating losses were down $56 million from its $26 million income during the fourth quarter of 2019.

The disturbing trend is expected to continue industry-wide as other health care providers announce first quarter results.

The hospital system decided to resume non-essential procedures after a pause in March caused “significant financial consequences,” according to Atrium Health CEO Gene Woods.

The board also gave the green light in April to allow the health system to borrow up to $750 million for operations related to the virus outbreak.

Elective Procedure Slowdown Affects Other Health Care Systems

Atrium’s financial woes are just a small part of a national trend, which Modern Healthcare recently analyzed in depth. The national health care business publication interviewed Wilmington Health CEO Jeff James for the story.

“Wilmington Health, North Carolina’s largest multi- specialty physician group, saw revenue drop 53% from the outbreak’s onset through mid-April,” MH reports. “At that time, the practice had about eight weeks of reserves,” James told the publication.

Mecklenburg Country Will See COVID-19 Peak in Late July

Woods said Atrium Health’s coronavirus predictive model now shows virus cases in Mecklenburg County peaking in late July. In contrast, the county’s own model shows cases peaking in the mid July. Woods said the hospital system’s model shows there will be enough hospital beds and personal protective equipment in the county during the peak.

Atrium Health, formerly known as Carolinas HealthCare Centers, operates hospitals and other medical facilities in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. It includes eight major hospitals in the Charlotte area. The system has 60,000 employees.

Approximately two-thirds of COVID-19 patients in Mecklenburg County have so far recovered, according to figures released earlier this week.