MultiCare Health reports almost $60M operating loss as contract labor costs remain challenge

Tacoma, Wash.-based MultiCare reported a first-quarter operating loss of $59.9 million, adding to similar losses experienced in 2022 when it reported a $287.4 million operating loss for the full year.

The 12-hospital system, which said it began to experience improved contract labor costs toward the end of last year, said salaries and expenses rose 13.7 percent in the first quarter compared with the same period in 2022. First-quarter overall expenses totaled $1.2 billion, including a 29.2 percent decline in contract labor rates.

"Though results show good improvements in contract labor costs compared to prior year, reliance on contract labor and contract labor rates remain a significant challenge," management said in the filing.

Overall, MultiCare reported net income of $29.8 million as investment returns improved. Its overall 2022 loss was $515 million.

The health system had 214 days of cash on hand as of March 31.

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