2022 is shaping up to be a difficult year for hospitals. Hospital operating margins remained in the red for a fourth consecutive month in April as organizations struggle to rebound from the Omicron surge. Although volumes improved and costs abated slightly in March, this changed in April.
COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations started to climb back up throughout the month, and patient volumes continued to take a hit. More patients stayed home in April, and sicker patients — who may have previously postponed care — flocked to the hospital and stayed longer, keeping costs high. The continued labor shortage also factored into elevated expenses.
The median Kaufman Hall Operating Margin Index for April was -3.09%, and the median change in Operating Margin was down 38.1% from last month, still very far from sustainable levels.
Our May issue of the National Hospital Flash Report covers these and other vital performance metrics from April.
Hospital Finance Podcast
Erik Swanson discusses the key findings from the May 2022 National Hospital Flash Report and the continued financial struggles of hospitals nationwide in a new Hospital Finance Podcast episode.