U.S. hospitals and health systems are experiencing some of the worst margins since the beginning of the pandemic, and they lack the federal funds to offset the damage. The gains hospitals saw in recent months reversed themselves in July, as lagging outpatient volumes shrunk revenues and expenses jumped up from June.
The median Kaufman Hall Year-To-Date (YTD) Operating Margin Index reflecting actual margins was -0.98% through July, underscoring the continued losses hospitals have experienced this year.
An increasing number of patients continued to choose ambulatory centers over hospital settings for surgical procedures, a sign of a larger shift to ambulatory care and new ways of accessing care outside of the hospital. As outpatient activity and revenue sank, labor expenses, which have remained well above pre-pandemic levels throughout 2022, rose.
The August issue of the National Hospital Flash Report covers these and other key performance metrics.