Kaufman Hall, a well-known management consulting firm, and Syntellis, a healthcare data and intelligence solution organization, released the January 2023 National Hospital Flash Report. The insight provided in the report combines 2022 operating performance data from 900 hospitals nationwide. The National Hospital Flash report is intended to provide healthcare organizations with a granular view of how they are operating in everchanging market conditions with the hopes of providing insight to inspire solutions to hospital financial and operational challenges.
The National Hospital Flash reports 2022 as the worst financial year for hospitals since the start of the pandemic in 2020.
Many hospitals have had to operate with a budget in the red, as operational costs far exceeded revenue. A significant amount of the increased costs can be attributed to the increase in labor costs. Costs associated with labor have increased by an average of 24% from 2019 to 2022, with the Southern Region of the country seeing an increase of 26% (Swanson, 2023). With gaps in hospitals’ permanent staffing, reliance on contingent labor increased during the pandemic, and continued through much of 2022. Hospitals scrambling to fill permanent staffing vacancies have been forced to pay agencies double or even triple what a contingent laborer would have cost before the pandemic. As contingent labor costs have come down and availability of permanent staff has increased, year average operating margins have improved from-3.4% operating margin in January 2022 to 0.2% in December 2022.
It is more apparent than ever it is now that the costs associated with hiring contingent workers are simply unsustainable for hospitals, especially for the rural hospitals that provide care to patients outside major cities.
HWL has created an alternative to the traditional staffing method that has been so heavily relied upon; that is, until now. HWL has assisted hospitals of all sizes by saving 10-15% in their contingent labor costs and doing so by using a vendor-neutral approach with their suppliers. HWL’s solution is beginning to provide much-needed relief to healthcare organizations that rely on contingent workers to keep the labor wheels of the hospital turning.
While Kaufman Hall data highlights the still fractured financial state of hospitals throughout our country, it does look encouraging for the year ahead. Hospital Administrators are learning from the pandemic times and looking for innovative solutions. For hospitals to continue to see results trending in a positive direction, they must search out solutions such as HWL’s Private-Label and vendor neutral managed service solutions to organize and allocate their resources wisely to create long-term sustainability and profitability for their hospitals.
Swanson , E. (2023, January 30). Kaufman Hill National Hospital Flash Report: January 2023. Kaufman Hall. Retrieved March 3, 2023, from https://www.kaufmanhall.com/insights/research-report/national-hospital-flash-report-february-2023