Not-for-profit hospitals and healthcare systems continue to face significant operating challenges as they attempt to keep revenues on pace with escalating operating expenses fueled by inflation, according to a June 27 report from S&P.
Highlights from the report:
- The first quarter of 2022 marked the toughest performance quarter on record for U.S. not-for-profit hospitals and health systems, highlighted by widespread inflationary pressures across the sector.
- High labor expenses are likely to cause sustained operating hurdles, and demands on cash flow combined with weaker investment market returns could reduce financial flexibility through the remainder of 2022 and into 2023.
- S&P notes that higher interest costs are likely to make borrowing options more expensive. Furthermore, the re-introduction of sequestration and the likely end of the public health emergency later this year will also have to be absorbed into cash flow.
- The regulatory environment is becoming tougher and eliminating mergers and acquisitions as an option for many providers. Given recent denials by the Federal Trade Commission and other regulatory agencies, this option may be increasingly difficult to deploy. If these denials affect organizations that are already struggling operationally, options could become increasingly limited for certain providers.
Read the full report here.