Hospital margins hold steady in October

Hospitals' median operating margin was 1.2% through October, marking the third straight month with the same year-to-date median and signaling growing stability. 

The latest figure comes from Kaufman Hall's November "National Hospital Flash Report," which is based on data from more than 1,300 hospitals. 

Kaufman Hall said the 1.2% year-to-date median operating margin for October reflects "continued stabilization" among hospitals. In the first 10 months of 2023, hospitals' net operating revenue per calendar day was up 6%, and total expense per calendar day was up 4% compared to the same time period in 2022.

In October, emergency department visits and observation patient days declined 2% compared to the previous month, with Kaufman Hall noting the latter could be attributed to patient type, "but also likely reflects increased vigilance of these patients, including the deployment of case managers and use of observation units." 

Discharges stayed unchanged from September, while average length of stay ticked up 1% and operating room minutes increased 6%.

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