Hospitals on track for worst financial year in decades

The following is an excerpt from Becker’s Hospital Review.

Healthcare systems in the U.S. have had a challenging year, and they are on track for their worst financial year in decades, according to an Oct. 25 report from Health Affairs

Dramatic margin fluctuations have characterized 2022, and U.S. hospitals are still operating substantially below pre-pandemic levels.

Most metrics improved month-over-month in August as revenues and expenses climbed compared to July. However, most organizations are in poor shape with a negative operating margin, according to the report. 

Several factors suggest hospital margins will continue to face challenges in the coming years. The labor shortage is noted as the primary driver for rising hospital costs.

Nursing labor is a critical point as the report indicates hospitals have lost about 105,000 employees, and nursing vacancies have more than doubled.

In response, hospitals have relied on expensive contract nurses and extended overtime hours, which caused labor costs to surge.

The national nursing shortage is a continuing problem as a substantial segment of the labor force is approaching retirement, and the shortage of new nurses is projected to reach 450,000 by 2025. 

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5 thoughts on “Hospitals on track for worst financial year in decades”

  1. Hospitals in general are plagued by poor management provided by non-business experienced medical types!! School management, the same problem with academic types!! They are, their own worst enemies.

    1. True!!! My husband works for a local hospital and it is pretty much run like our federal government, which should tell you everything you need to know about both entities. His org has a Director of Diversity who literally does nothing. They have too many chiefs and not enough indians. They have managers that people literally hate and have gotten numerous complaints about so they move them to lateral positions with no people to manage instead of firing them. They have had hundreds of thousands of dollars stolen from them by contractors who billed them for construction jobs that were never even started, then, didn’t prosecute them because they didn’t want the negative publicity. Now this organization has somehow managed to find the money to start a $500 million dollar patient bed expansion project but can’t find the money to give their employees cost of living raises (the average increase is 1%). Oh and the CEO makes $2 million+/year, BTW. I literally could go on and on and these are just the things he tells me about.

    1. From what I’ve heard it’s largely because their history of forced use of remdesivir and ventilators — even when patients have explicitly refused them — is now scaring many potential patients into staying away from hospitals altogether, no matter how sick they feel or from what medical condition including heart attacks and cancer.

      The good news is, many of those doctors and nurses who are now leaving the hospital systems in droves, like members of the American Front Line Doctors (AFLDS), are moving into private practice. When I was a kid growing up in the 1950s, independent doctors in small private practices provided the vast majority of health care in this country, often with visits to the patient’s home, “black bag” in hand. We will probably end up going largely back to that as the entire medical-industrial complex as it exists today continues to collapse, except perhaps in states like California where even independent doctors are having their licenses to practice medicine removed for the “crime” of actually treating their patients with informed consent.

  2. Seems to me like the modern medical Industrial complex has shot its credibility in the foot with their wholesale rejection of early COVID treatments so more people would end up in the hospitals.

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