COVID-19FinancialHospitals

Moody’s: Rising costs will slow hospitals rebuilding margins to pre-COVID-19 levels

Operating cash flow margins for nonprofit hospitals fell to a median 7% in 2020.

October 26, 2021 / Susan Morse, Managing Editor

A shortage of nurses and other workers will continue to erode hospital financial performance into 2022, according to a new Healthcare Quarterly report from Moody’s.

A rise in COVID-19 cases in various regions of the United States has contributed to a wave of nurses, often burned out, resigning to take care of family, to work in less acute healthcare settings such as ambulatory care or to pursue higher-paying contract opportunities, such as becoming a travel nurse.

Hospitals are also having difficulty finding other types of healthcare workers, such as respiratory therapists and imaging technicians, as well as nonclinical workers in areas such as dietary, housekeeping and environmental services.

WHY THIS MATTERS

The report holds no surprises for hospital executives, who already know the financially affect labor shortages are having on revenue. But Moody’s confirms projections that rising costs will make it difficult for hospitals to rebuild margins to pre-COVID-19 levels. 

Labor shortages are driving up costs and also may be limiting the number of lucrative elective procedures, resulting in lost revenue. Not-for-profit hospitals saw operating cash flow margins fall to a median 7% in 2020, from 8.3% in the three prior years, according to Moody’s median data.

READ THE REST HERE

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Chris J. Stewart

Chris currently serves as President and CEO of Surgio Health. Chris has close to 20 years of healthcare management experience, with an infinity to improve healthcare delivery through the development and implementation of innovative solutions that result in improved efficiencies, reduction of unnecessary financial & clinical variation, and help achieve better patient outcomes. Previously, Chris was assistant vice president and business unit leader for HPG/HCA. He has presented at numerous healthcare forums on topics that include disruptive innovation, physician engagement, shifting reimbursement models, cost per clinical episode and the future of supply chain delivery.

Related Articles

Back to top button