Moody’s: Labor shortages weaken hospitals’ financial performance

Labor shortages from the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to worsen the financial performance of nonprofit and for-profit hospitals into 2022, an October Moody’s quarterly report found.

As nurses and other workers deal with burnout and resign from positions, some hospitals are limiting elective procedures, which is reducing revenue. They’re also increasing minimum wage and using contract nurses with much higher hourly wages.

Physician staffing companies like Envision Healthcare Corp. and TeamHealth will also struggle with profitability as it becomes more difficult to fill open positions because of fewer available physicians, the report said. 

An Association of American Medical Colleges study in 2020 found that more than 2 out of 5 physicians will be 65 or older by 2030; COVID-19 is accelerating retirement.

Meanwhile, health insurers are not as affected by labor shortages, wage pressure and inflation, according to the report. Because their product is more short-term and premiums reset every year, they have more flexibility when it comes to inflation.

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