Following a year of pandemic disruptions, the nation’s largest nonprofit providers all saw their revenues increase anywhere from 5% to 18% in 2021—all while picking up hundreds of millions or billions from their investments.
By Dave Muoio – Jun 7, 2022
2020 was a rough year for hospitals and health systems as pandemic restrictions forced short-term service line closures and longer lasting deferrals of elective care. The disruptions led to flat or declining operating revenues across provider organizations large and small, all while expenses mounted and bottom lines suffered.
Going into 2021, the uncertainty of the pandemic left the industry worried these revenue declines would continue.
In forecasts published near the top of the year, industry analyst Kaufman Hall predicted hospitals would see anywhere from $53 billion to $122 billion in total revenue losses across the year.
The determining factors, they wrote, would be the return of volumes to pre-pandemic levels, the speed with which vaccines would be distributed across the country and whether COVID-19 cases would decline or return in cyclical surges.
Reality showed 2021 to be a year of ups and downs in both the pandemic response and the healthcare industry’s financial well-being.