November 03, 2021
The nation’s hospitals are facing a volatile recovery from the pandemic, as escalating labor and supply expenses contribute to narrower overall margins.
Released this week, the latest Kaufman Hall National Hospital Flash Report provides an overview of the ways the pandemic has impacted U.S. hospitals, featuring data from more than 900 facilities across the country.
Hospitals are seeing “alarming and sustained increases in hospital expenses” due to multiple factors, Erik Swanson, a senior vice president of data and analytics with Kaufman Hall, said in a statement.
“Growth in labor expenses are outpacing increases in hours worked, suggesting hospitals are paying more due to nationwide labor shortages,” he said. “Rising supply and drug expenses also point to worldwide supply chain issues.”
Among the key takeaways from the report:
“While revenue increased from prior year performance, volumes dropped relative to pre-pandemic levels and expenses increased dramatically, leading to declines in margins,” the report noted.
The report also indicated that inpatient revenue growth has outpaced outpatient revenues, potentially “reflecting some patients’ continued reluctance to seek care amid the ongoing pandemic.” The surge of Delta cases also has affected margins in the West, South, and Northeast/Mid-Atlantic regions.
The Kaufman Hall report, as well as a physician group snapshot, are available online.
Tags: Public Health | COVID-19
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