The end of some forms of federal COVID-19 financial assistance is causing financial pain for some hospitals – especially safety-net hospitals that care for especially large numbers of uninsured patients.

During the pandemic, the federal government reimbursed hospitals for testing, vaccinating, and treating uninsured COVID patients; now it does not.

During the pandemic, some people, including many who are uninsured, put off seeking to address their health problems because they feared going to a hospital and encountering the highly contagious virus.  Now, these individuals are showing up at hospitals’ doors seeking care, have no insurance, their medical problems have grown worse with the passage of time, and in many states they are not eligible for Medicaid, leaving hospitals to shoulder the cost of their care themselves.

During the pandemic, reimbursement for these and other services, plus aid from the Provider Relief Fund, helped hospitals get through challenging financial times.  Now, however, the aid is mostly gone, patients – many without insurance – are returning for care, and the cost of hospital staff has skyrocketed.

The New York Times has taken a closer look at the challenges hospitals still face as the COVID-19 pandemic winds down.  See what it found in its story “Loss of Pandemic Aid Stresses Hospitals That Treat the Uninsured.”