Japan Data

Hospitals Accepting COVID-19 Patients See Huge Drop in Profits


While coping with the burden of infection countermeasures and damage to reputation, accepting COVID-19 patients has also put the running of medical institutions under strain.

The Japan Hospital Federation conducted an emergency survey for hospitals nationwide in June this year, which revealed the number of outpatients fell by 16.8% year on year in April and 24.9% in May. The number of first-time patients, in particular, fell by 30-40%.

Moreover, during that time, hospitals that accepted COVID-19 patients received much less revenue, putting strain on their operations, compared to hospitals that did not.

The survey targeted 1,481 federation member hospitals, of which 743 submitted valid responses. Of the 256 hospitals that did accept COVID-19 patients, their medical practice profit, calculated by deducting medical practice costs from the medical practice revenue (income received through providing medical treatment), showed that each hospital on average had a ¥97.3 million deficit due to a year-on-year decrease of ¥94.5 million in April. In May, this rose to a deficit of ¥99.7 million from a year-on-year decrease of ¥113.9 million.

The profit ratio was -12.1% in April and -13.6% in May, showing a larger decrease in May, as with the profits from medical practice revenue. Medical practice revenue dropped by 10.5% in April and 17.7% in May, compared to the same periods in 2019.

In contrast to this, the 300 hospitals that did not accept COVID-19 patients on average recorded a deficit of ¥15.7 million in April, a year-on-year decrease of ¥17.3 million, and a deficit of ¥21.52 million in May, a year-on-year decrease of ¥24.2 million. The profit ratio was -5.5% in April and -8.3% in May and the medical practice revenue saw a drop of 5.6% in April compared to 2019, and a 12.7% decrease in May.

An additional 184 hospitals temporarily closed in order to accept COVID-19 patients. A look at the situation for those hospitals showed that each hospital on average had a deficit of ¥85.3 million and a profit ratio of -10.9% in April, while in May there was a ¥100.8 million deficit and a -14.3% profit ratio.

(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo: Carrying out disinfection work before resuming general outpatient care at Osaka City Jūsō Hospital, which was designated as a COVID-19 priority medical institution in Yodogawa Ward, Osaka, on July 9, 2020. © Jiji.)

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