The Minnesota Hospital Association says health care systems and medical centers across the state are facing a financial hit of $2.9 billion over the next 90 days due to COVID-19 preparations.

The biggest factor is that hospitals and health systems are seeing a decline of $2.8 billion in revenue, the trade group says, due to postponed elective surgeries that are preserving scarce supplies needed for handling an expected surge of COVID-19 patients.

The figures come from a letter sent by the hospital association on Friday to the state's congressional delegation. The trade group says "significant federal funding" is needed so that health care providers can get through the pandemic and remain financially viable after the public health emergency.

"Minnesota's health care providers have postponed elective surgeries and reduced in-person visits to clinics in order to conserve personal protective equipment (PPE) for front-line caregivers and to reduce potential exposure for both health care workers and patients," Dr. Rahul Koranne, president and chief executive of the Minnesota Hospital Association, said in a statement.

"That was the right thing to do, but the reduction in revenues and significant costs to acquire an unprecedented amount of supplies and equipment, build out temporary spaces for a surge of patients and ensure we will have the right workforce in place to care for COVID-19 patients — particularly in intensive care — are having a significant financial impact on health systems throughout Minnesota, large and small, metro and rural."

Minnesota hospitals and health systems are collectively losing $31 million in revenue per day from reduced patient volumes, the trade group says. That represents a 55% reduction of patient revenue, on average, while smaller hospitals are reporting bigger declines, according to the Minnesota Hospital Association.

In addition, the association says its members are spending $1.2 billion to prepare for patients sickened in the pandemic.