(CNN) – Many emergency room doctors around the country are seeing their hours, pay and benefits cut, even as the coronavirus overwhelms hospitals in New York City and other hotspots.
Though many hospitals are seeing more very sick coronavirus victims, they have had to sharply curtail their more lucrative elective surgeries and have temporarily lost many other patients as Americans stay home and skip all but the most urgent care.
As a result, hospitals as well as other medical facilities and physician staffing companies nationwide are furloughing thousands of workers or taking other steps to conserve cash as the pandemic wreaks havoc on their finances.
The recent $2.2 trillion congressional stimulus bill created a $100 billion fund to reimburse hospitals and other health providers to compensate them for additional expenses and lost revenue due to the coronavirus. Hospitals expect to get about $65 billion, but it’s still unclear how all the money will be allocated.
The White House said last week some of the fund will reimburse hospitals for treating uninsured coronavirus patients, which did not sit well with the main hospital lobbying group.
Meanwhile, some front-line medical workers are risking their lives while also making financial sacrifices.