Hospitals' finances are hurting

Many hospitals and health systems across the U.S. are feeling the effects of higher expenses and market volatility in the first quarter of 2022. 

Several health systems recently reported their financial results for the quarter ended March 31, posting both operating deficits and investment losses. 

Altamonte Springs, Fla.-based AdventHealth, for example, recorded a $417.7 net loss in the first quarter of 2022, driven by both investment and operating losses. Although the 48-hospital system saw its revenue increase, its expenses grew by 15 percent. After factoring in the $3.7 billion in expenses, AdventHealth ended the first quarter of 2022 with an operating loss of $46.8 million. The health system also faced market volatility, posting a $372.2 million investment loss. 

And AdventHealth is not alone. 

Another example is Oakland, Calif.-based Kaiser Permanente, which recorded a net loss of $961 million in the first quarter of 2022. For the quarter ended March 31, the integrated healthcare system saw an operating loss of $72 million and $889 million in losses for nonoperating items, including investment losses. The health system attributed the operating loss to an increase in overall expenses, which rose 9.5 percent to $24.3 billion. 

Additionally, St. Louis-based Ascension ended the first quarter of 2022 with an operating loss of $671.1 million and a net loss of $884.7 million. Ascension said its operating expenses ballooned during the first quarter to $7.3 billion, up from $6.6 billion recorded the same period one year prior. It also reported investment losses.

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