MultiCare reports steep losses but sees some hope on labor costs

Tacoma, Wash.-based MultiCare Health System reported an overall $515 million loss in 2022 as it suffered from declines in investment values as well as from inflationary pressures hitting its labor and other expenses.

The one bright spot? The 12-hospital system said its contract labor expenses were finally becoming less of a burden.

"Both reliance on contract labor and contract labor rates remain a significant challenge but contract labor expense in December 2022 was the lowest since August 2021," the healthcare system said.

Still, average contract nursing labor rates were approximately 33 percent higher than in 2021 and double the average rate from 2020, accounting for $131.6 million of the increase in expenses from 2021.

While the operating loss totaled $287.4 million for the year compared with an operating gain of $65.5 million in 2021, the $515 million net loss compared with net income of $291.6 million the previous year.

MultiCare Health System completed the acquisition of Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital and its associated clinics Jan. 17.

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