Alabama hospitals lost $1.5B since 2020

Hospitals in Alabama have lost more money than in any other state since the start of the pandemic, down $1.5 billion since 2020, NBC affiliate WSFA reported Feb. 2. 

That figure is from a new report by healthcare management consultant Kaufman Hall and is 79 percent higher than the national average for hospital losses. Donald Williamson, MD, director of the Alabama Hospital Association, said the loss would have been $2.4 billion if hospitals had not received federal stimulus funds. 

In 2022, Alabama hospitals recorded their highest annual loss, at $738 million. 

Hospital margins in Alabama have dropped 79 percent since the start of the pandemic and half of the state's hospitals operate in the red, according to CBS affiliate WAKA. Rising labor, drug and medical costs are contributing to the crisis — salaries went up by 35 percent and drug prices by 14 percent, WSFA reported. 

Alabama hospitals are also seeing sicker patients — up to 15 percent of whom are uninsured — leading them to expend more resources on longer stays. Hospitals will ask the state Legislature to help by expanding Medicaid, according to WSFA

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