June was a mixed month for the nation’s hospitals and health systems. While key performance metrics continued to improve compared to poor performance seen in the early months of the pandemic in 2020, margins and volumes remained below pre-pandemic levels from 2019, not including federal CARES Act funding. At the same time, expenses rose above 2019 levels and revenues surpassed both 2019 and 2020 performance.
A nationwide shortage of healthcare workers made worse by the pandemic, and hospital and health systems’ increased reliance on contract labor, is driving expenses upward and contributing to steep declines in profit margins, according to a Special Workforce Edition of Kaufman Hall’s National Hospital Flash Report.
U.S. hospitals and health systems fared better in March following a difficult start to the year due to January’s devastating Omicron surge. While repercussions of the surge persist, hospitals saw early signs of relief as outpatient volumes and revenues returned and expenses eased with fewer high acuity patients.
2022 is off to a bad start for U.S. hospitals and health systems. Hospital operating margins remained in the red for a second consecutive month in February as healthcare providers...