Hospitals and Health Systems Saw Patient Volumes and Revenue Plummet in April 

June 1, 2022 by Alexa Hornbeck
Hospitals and Health Systems Saw Patient Volumes and Revenue Plummet in April 

report released on May 31 from Kaufman Hall, a health care management consulting company, shows that U.S. hospitals and health systems experienced low volumes of patients in April and saw revenues plummet.

According to the analysis, which is based on data from more than 900 U.S. hospitals, although COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations started to climb again throughout April, the number of patients declined.

This means more patients stayed home in April, but sicker patients who are more expensive to treat went to the hospital and stayed longer.

The report shows more patients are seeking care outside of the hospital, such as urgent care centers, and that labor shortages for health care have not eased, keeping operating costs high.


There was a brief rebound from the omicron surge in March, as volumes of patients improved and costs decreased, but not so in April.


According to the report, patient days in hospitals and health systems declined by 5.7% compared with March, and adjusted discharges decreased 3.3% from March and decreased 0.3% compared with April 2021.

The findings indicate that treating fewer but sicker patients in 2022 has put a heavier weight on hospitals’ operating margins and puts a strain on both expenses and revenue. 

The median Kaufman Hall Operating Margin Index for April was -3.09%, and the median change in operating margin was down 38.1% from last month, which the company said is still far from sustainable levels.


Even if the margins do cumulatively return to pre-pandemic levels, the researchers find that many hospitals and health systems will still end up with substantially depressed margins at the year’s end. 

Alexa can be reached at [email protected]

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