Gundersen, Mayo net $39 million bailout for La Crosse facilities

Gundersen Health System and Mayo Clinic in La Crosse received a combined $39.6 million in bailout funds at the end of July.

The money comes from the CARES Act, a COVID-19 relief bill approved by Congress that included $175 billion in grant funding to hospitals and other health care providers.

Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center and Gundersen Clinic Ltd. received a total of about $30 million in funding on July 28, the same day that Mayo Clinic – Franciscan Healthcare received $9.6 million. The numbers come from Good Jobs First, which researches government subsidies of companies.

Both Gundersen and Mayo furloughed workers in April to deal with a fall in revenue from COVID-19. A Gundersen statement released in April claimed the organization was facing a 40-80% decrease in business due in part to procedures and appointments being canceled because of the pandemic. 

The following month, Gundersen and Mayo received millions in federal support as part of a $34 billion relief package in the form of accelerated or advanced payments for Medicare providers. Gundersen received $40.7 million through the program and Mayo at least $36.6 million, in both cases for their La Crosse operations. The relief package was designed to ensure hospitals had sufficient cash flow to deal with the COVID fallout.

After imposing furloughs on thousands of staff, Mayo announced in June it would restore lost hours for affected workers in August, months earlier than planned. Mayo also ended temporary pay cuts for employees ahead of schedule, with the exception of senior leadership, as the financial hit from COVID was not as severe as was initially feared by the nonprofit.

Mayo, which is headquartered in Minnesota, reported strong financial results for 2019, with around $13.8 billion in revenue across its facilities and $12.8 billion in expenses, producing a surplus of $1 billion.

Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center, which is the nonprofit Gundersen hospital complex in La Crosse, had about $1.1 billion in revenue in 2018, the most recent year for which records are available, which was $117 million more than its expenses.

Outside La Crosse County, the Vernon Memorial Healthcare hospital in Viroqua received $6.1 million in bailout funding in July, and Black River Memorial Hospital in Black River Falls got $5.6 million.

By Eric Timmons. Email questions to Top photo by Christo and Melissa Philips/CC BY 3.0.

We have no advertisers or corporate shareholders. Help The La Crosse Independent grow by becoming patron for $5.75 a month here.

Success! You're on the list.