• Revenue Cycle Management
  • COVID-19
  • Reimbursement
  • Diabetes Awareness Month
  • Risk Management
  • Patient Retention
  • Staffing
  • Medical Economics® 100th Anniversary
  • Coding and documentation
  • Business of Endocrinology
  • Telehealth
  • Physicians Financial News
  • Cybersecurity
  • Cardiovascular Clinical Consult
  • Locum Tenens, brought to you by LocumLife®
  • Weight Management
  • Business of Women's Health
  • Practice Efficiency
  • Finance and Wealth
  • EHRs
  • Remote Patient Monitoring
  • Sponsored Webinars
  • Medical Technology
  • Billing and collections
  • Acute Pain Management
  • Exclusive Content
  • Value-based Care
  • Business of Pediatrics
  • Concierge Medicine 2.0 by Castle Connolly Private Health Partners
  • Practice Growth
  • Concierge Medicine
  • Business of Cardiology
  • Implementing the Topcon Ocular Telehealth Platform
  • Malpractice
  • Influenza
  • Sexual Health
  • Chronic Conditions
  • Technology
  • Legal and Policy
  • Money
  • Opinion
  • Vaccines
  • Practice Management
  • Patient Relations
  • Careers

Hospital margins remain tight as industry pulls out of pandemic


The Delta variant and rising expenses is offsetting gains in revenue and patient volume.

Hospital margins remain tight as system pulls out of pandemic

Hospitals in the U.S. continued to experience tight margins in June as the pandemic continues to squeeze the healthcare industry.

According to a news release on the latest issue of the Kaufman Hall’s National Hospital Flash Report, key performance metrics improved in June over the depths seen in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, but expenses have also risen higher than levels seen in 2019. Adding to the pressure, COVID-19 infections tied to the more easily transmissible Delta variant have increased dramatically while vaccination rates have stagnated.

The median Kaufman Hall hospital operating margin Index was 2.8 percent in June, without federal CARES Act funding and 4.3 percent with the funding. When compared to the first six months of 2020, the margin jumped 89.5 percent year to date (YTD) without CARES Act funding, and 48.7 percent YTD with the funding. Compared to 2019, margins were down 10.3 percent YTD without the federal funding and rose 3.7 percent YTD with the funding, the release says.

Expenses per adjusted discharge fell 2.6 percent from January to June 2021 compared to the year prior which saw massive spending on equipment to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic but was up 14.5 percent compared to the first six months of 2019. Adjusted discharges also saw an increase of 10.1 YTD compared to a 4.4 drop compared to the same period in 2019, according to the release.

“Rising expenses are contributing to relatively tight hospital margins, even as revenues and volumes continue to show signs of improvement,” Erik Swanson, senior vice president of Data and Analytics with Kaufman Hall, says in the release. “And the increasing spread of the Delta COVID-19 variant may stifle further recovery in the coming months.”

Related Videos
Monica Verduzco-Gutierrez, MD, FAAPMR, gives expert advice
Claire Ernst, JD, gives expert advice
stock market