U.S. hospitals and health systems are now halfway through an enormously difficult year. While margins were up in June compared to May, expenses remain at historic highs, leaving hospitals with cumulatively negative margins. In June, operating margins rose from the previous month, but remained significantly lower than pre-pandemic levels and May 2021. Outpatient volumes were up from the previous month, and expenses were generally down from May, but remain extremely elevated from pre-pandemic levels.
Decreases in acuity, escalations in outpatient volume and easing costs in June show that hospitals are faring better month-over-month but are nowhere near before March 2020. Halfway through 2022, hospital margins are still in the red. Although hospitals are seeing improved volumes and reduced expenses month-over-month, they will likely end up with historically low margins for the remainder of the year.
For more data and insights, read the July 2022 issue of Kaufman Hall’s National Hospital Flash Report.