Hospitals and health systems nationwide closed the second year of the pandemic caught in a vise of rising volumes and ballooning expenses, as COVID-19 cases climbed to new highs and critical labor shortages and supply chain issues continued to plague providers. Many organizations ended 2021 in a stronger position compared to lows seen in 2020, as hospital leaders have learned to better navigate the pandemic’s volatility. However, overall hospital performance remains below pre-pandemic levels on most metrics.
From December 2019 to December 2021, hospitals saw:
- Median change in Operating Margin (without CARES) drop 14.7%
- Total Expense per Adjusted Discharge rise 25.4%
- Labor Expense per Adjusted Discharge jump 26.8%
- Adjusted Discharges decline 4.7%