NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a lasting impact on the state’s hospital and health care system, according to new data from the Connecticut Hospital Association.

The association hired an outside firm to study the numbers, which were released Tuesday via Zoom. The report shows that most hospitals in the state are operating in the red, with expenses billions more than before the pandemic. Patients are also showing up more ill than before.

“Because of the pandemic, people were hesitant at first to seek care, which meant diagnosis being made at a later state in a disease cycle than earlier, which means sicker patients,” said Syed Hussain, the chief clinical officer of Trinity Health of New England.

If nothing is done, then Connecticut’s health care system will suffer, according to the report.

One problem that’s highlighted is that government payments to hospitals via Medicare and Medicaid are too low.

“It shifts costs to the employers and the individuals with commercial insurance, resulting in rising premiums, and other out-of-pocket costs for those patients,” said Susan Martin, the chief financial officer of Middlesex Health.

Recruiting and retaining workers has also been an issue.

Hospitals aren’t saying how much more money is needed, but hope policymakers will help brainstorm solutions.