10 numbers showing hospitals' financial recovery

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The COVID-19 pandemic caused significant revenue losses for hospitals as elective surgery volumes dwindled and reimbursement lagged. Despite this, hospitals recently have seen financial improvements. Here are 10 numbers that illustrate hospitals' financial recovery. 

1. The average hospital operating margin rose 95.2 percent in the first five months of 2021, compared to the first five months of 2020, according to a June 28 Kaufman Hall report. 

2. Gross operating revenue increased 18.6 percent from January to May of this year, when compared to the same period last year, according to Kaufman Hall. Outpatient revenue saw the biggest revenue boost, jumping 25.1 percent in the first five months of 2021, compared to last year's levels. Inpatient revenue also was up 13.1 percent in the same period versus January to May of 2020. 

3. Nonprofit U.S. hospitals saw more credit rating upgrades than downgrades in the second quarter of 2021, according to a July 20 Fitch Ratings report. In particular, four nonprofit hospitals were upgraded and two were downgraded in the quarter, according to the credit rating agency. Fitch said the upgrades are an encouraging sign for the sector. 

4. Total expense per adjusted discharge from January to May of 2021 was down 1.7 percent, labor expense per adjusted discharge decreased 1.8 percent and nonlabor expense per adjusted discharge fell 1.7 percent when compared to the same period last year. 

5. Nashville, Tenn.-based HCA Healthcare, the first for-profit hospital operator to report second-quarter financial results, saw its revenue grow 30 percent to $14.4 billion in the three months ending June 30. Its profit also increased to $1.5 billion in the second quarter of 2021, up from $1.1 billion recorded in the same period last year. 

 

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