Hospitals alternate their complaints regarding too much COVID or not enough, and it is always about the $

Rather remarkable article.  We had a huge COVID surge in January, but apparently this corresponded to fewer admissions.  Inpatient revenue declined 19%.  I thought that was a good thing:  the huge wave was very mild.  Also, some patients have stopped trusting the medical system.  Hospitals won’t admit that yet.  Not that there are lots of choices.

https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/finance/hospital-margins-well-below-sustainable-levels-kaufman-hall.html

Hospitals across the U.S. saw their operating margins remain negative for the second consecutive month in February as they continued to feel the repercussions of the winter omicron surge, according to Kaufman Hall’s “National Hospital Flash Report: March 2022” posted March 28.

The median operating margin in February was -3.45 percent, up from -4.52 percent in January, but “still well below sustainable levels,” Kaufman Hall said. 

Kaufman Hall said the improvement in hospital margin was driven by disproportionate increases among several hospitals that saw margin gains, but most hospitals reported margin declines in February. Specifically, the median operating margin was down 11.8 percent month over month…

Hospitals’ gross operating revenue also decreased 7.4 percent compared to January 2022, with outpatient revenue falling 5 percent and inpatient revenue declining 19.3 percent.

Kaufman Hall noted that hospitals saw some improvement month over month in terms of expenses. Total expenses per adjusted discharge fell 4.5 percent compared to January, labor expense per adjusted discharge fell 6.1 percent and non-labor expenses per adjusted discharge was down 3.6 percent…

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