The Wall Street Journal first reported that WeWork was skipping rent payments.
The virus outbreak has emptied many of WeWork’s locations and may reduce demand for its space over the longer terms. Seeing the empty spaces, landlords might be persuaded to reduce WeWork’s lease payments, but they also know that SoftBank, the company’s dominant shareholder, committed billions of dollars to finance WeWork’s expansion.
With hospitals in dire straits, insurance companies are speeding up payments.
In a sign of just how desperate hospitals and doctors are for cash during the coronavirus pandemic, insurance companies, notorious for slow-walking their payments to health care providers, are now speeding up how quickly they pay.
“There was a universal cry for cash,” said Paul Markovich, the chief executive of Blue Shield of California, which said it would advance up to $200 million in payments to hospitals and doctors.
With revenues down for surgeries and other care not viewed as essential, providers are scrambling for money to pay for protective equipment and other supplies. “The pressure on the entire health care ecosystem is something I’ve never seen before,’‘ said Mr. Markovich, who hopes to get out the first payments as soon as this week.
“We’re effectively advancing payment now and collecting later,” he said, even as it is also working with customers about letting them delay paying premiums.
UnitedHealth, which owns one of the nation’s largest insurance companies, said it would also take a series of steps, like waiving the need for pre-authorization when patients see a new doctor or go to a skilled nursing facility, that should result in nearly $2 billion in payments getting in the hands of providers more quickly. Providers could be paid in a matter of days rather than several weeks.
United also announced it would be making $125 million available in small-business loans to medical groups that work with its Optum unit, which provides consulting and other services.