Kaufman Hall: January was devastating for hospital finances

January was a challenging month for hospitals as they dealt with the omicron surge, leading to hospital margins being negative for the first time in 11 months, according to Kaufman Hall's "National Hospital Flash Report: February 2022" posted Feb. 28.

Without federal funds from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, the median Kaufman Hall operating margin index was -3.68 percent, and it was -3.3 percent with CARES.

As hospitals delayed nonurgent and outpatient care to manage the COVID-19 surge, providers saw a drop in outpatient volumes and revenue. But hospital expenses rose because of workforce shortages and supply chain issues.

Kaufman Hall found that from December to January:

  • The median change in operating margin without CARES decreased 71.3 percent.
  • Operating room minutes fell 15.7 percent.
  • The average length of stay rose 8.6 percent.
  • Labor expense per adjusted discharge climbed 14.6 percent.
  • Total expense per adjusted discharge increased 11.6 percent.

Read the full report here.

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