Kaufman Hall: Hospital margins, outpatient revenue grew in April

By Anastassia Gliadkovskaya – June 4, 2024

Amid a relatively strong first quarter for the sector, hospitals’ financial performance improved from March to April, per a new Kaufman Hall report. 

Margins, outpatient revenue and operating room minutes all increased in April, the report (PDF) found. Meanwhile, average lengths of stay decreased with the return of typical care patterns and the establishment of stronger post-acute care transitions, the report said. The year-to-date operating margin index increased slightly from 3.6% in March to 3.8% in April. The index started off with a high of 4.6% this year after being at 2% in December 2023. 

At the same time, emergency department visits have increased and are back to pre-COVID levels, adding pressure on hospitals and health systems. Daily ED visits rose 1% month over month and are up 4% year over year, while daily operating room minutes rose 6% month over month and 10% compared to April 2023. Daily discharges also rose 1% month over month, while daily adjusted discharges rose 2%.

Though margins have improved over the last several years, the report said, growth has slowed in the last few months “and may be settling on a new normal.” And a deeper dive into the data reveals a “greater divide” between high and low performers, per Kaufman Hall’s senior vice president of data and analytics Erik Swanson.


Tim Allen

Medtech leader with 19+ years of experience in medical device product development, manufacturing, and project management.

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