Research Report

National Hospital Flash Report Summary: September 2021

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Rising COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations from the hyper-transmissible Delta variant continued to deepen pressures on the nation’s hospitals and health systems in August, according to the latest issue of Kaufman Hall’s National Hospital Flash Report.

Hospital margins remained below pre-pandemic levels from 2019, not including federal CARES Act funding. Most volume metrics also were down versus pre-pandemic levels, but up compared to lows seen in the first eight months of 2020. Meanwhile, expenses continued to climb and revenues rose for a sixth consecutive month.

Key year-to-date metrics versus 2019 highlighted in the report include:

  • Median change in Operating Margin: Down 2.9%
  • Adjusted Discharges: Down 4.8%
  • Emergency Department Visits: Down 11%
  • Gross Operating Revenue: Up 9.6%
  • Total Expense per Adjusted Discharge: Up 16.6%
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