(STUDY) Public health emergency funds may have overpaid hospitals during Covid pandemic

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

Public health emergency funding during the Covid-19 pandemic helped hospitals’ net operating margins hit an all-time high, according to a study published in JAMA Health Forum July 14. 

The study examined national RAND data and American Community Survey data between 2017 and 2021 to evaluate hospitals’ financial performance during the first two years of the Covid-19 public health emergency.

Researchers assessed 4,423 short-term acute care and critical access hospitals. 

Eighty percent of the hospitals received public health emergency funds during 2020 and 2021.

Seventy-five percent had a positive net operating income during this period.

For more than 3,000 hospitals, financial performance improved post-public health emergency; these facilities saw a median net operating income improvement of $5.3 million. 

Median operating margins reached an all-time high of 6.5 percent between 2020 and 2021, compared with 2.8 percent margins pre-2020 according to the study.

Hospitals saw a median $1.9 million increase in net operating income during this time period.

However, 16 percent of hospitals experienced new financial distress despite receiving public health emergency funding.

Nearly one-fifth of the hospitals were located in a census tract with more than 20 percent Hispanic residents; these facilities were more likely to experience financial distress even after receiving federal funds.

A high concentration of Hispanic residents was the only independent variable associated with financial distress after receipt of public health emergency funding, according to the study. 

And not all funds were distributed equally, the study pointed out.

Hospitals with uncompensated care that represented 10 percent or more of their operating expenses in 2019 were less likely to receive Covid-19 funding than those that reported no uncompensated care burden. 

Some relief funds went to hospitals that did not need them while others received too much, the study’s authors noted in their discussion.

This led some hospitals to hit peak operating margins rather than restoring to pre-pandemic levels. 

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5 thoughts on “(STUDY) Public health emergency funds may have overpaid hospitals during Covid pandemic”

  1. Without even reading the article, I’m certain that many hospitals were overpaid, due to the discretionary definitions related to “cause of death,” whereby hospitals were paid a bounty for patients that died “from COVID” as opposed to having died “with COVID.”

    A person could have jumped out of an airplane and died because his parachute didn’t open, but if the body tested positive for COVID, the medical authoriies would list COVID as the cause of death.

    That may be an exaggeration, but it’s not much of an exaggeration.

    1. WELL SAID! I couldn’t have said it better myself. (I confess, I did read the article – it was short) You’re so right on all counts.

  2. This article and thinking of poorer countries like Sudan, Africa and some poorer Asian countries during the Pandemic and climate change flooding contaminated water ?..Let’s invent a New cheaper physics idea to help 3rd World countries convert there bad Drinking water to cleaner Drinking water we pump into water tower to be purified ? ” Hum ? We are going to recycle clear plastic water Bottles into big plastic magnifying glass . But before we melt down the clear plastic into shape of magnifying glass let’s add in some dye to our plastic, the color of Ultra violet so we can convert the Sun’s Rays into the New spectrum ultra-violet ray’s placed on top of a New open water tower E=( Subgroups Pi, H20 )~ to heat up and kill micro-organisms in our new cheap water purifying system. _Wm.Andrews ” The Summit of knowledge is only bound by the energy used to create it ! Rochester, IN. Footnote; This article Free physics idea was created with Real intelligence, Bringing a much greater swelling of pride to this space we call our Universe !

  3. This article and my other comment innovation post Funny thought on the lighter side of life ? That idea is far better then Artificial intelligence and or taking a Tour on the TMZ tour Bus in Calif. and Having Harvey L. pet dog trying to expand his dog breed familly tree, from humping your leg while riding on the TMZ Bus looking for Actors,” Speed Bump ! = Lol TMZ Tour bus cruising Team ?

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