Hospital Performance Remains Depressed vs. Pre-Pandemic Levels

Hospitals and health systems nationwide experienced another challenging month in November as COVID-19 hospitalizations rose more than 25% over the course of the month. Compared to pre-pandemic performance, hospital margins and volumes remained depressed, while expenses were highly elevated due in part to ongoing U.S. labor shortages and global supply chain issues. Lengths of stay rose as hospitals once again saw increases in higher acuity cases, including COVID-19 patients.

Compared to before the pandemic in November 2019, hospitals saw:

  • Median change in Operating Margin (without CARES) drop 22.1%
  • Labor Expense per Adjusted Discharge jump 26.4%
  • Total Expense per Adjusted Discharge rise 24.7%
  • Discharges decline 6.1%

Read the December 2021 National Hospital Flash Report

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Erik Swanson

Erik Swanson

Senior Vice President
Erik Swanson is a Senior Vice President with Kaufman Hall’s Data Analytics practice, focusing on Performance Improvement.
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