Hospitals’ financial situations are not nearly as dire as industry groups are making them out to be, Medicare policy experts are telling Congress.
Profit margins hit all-time highs in 2021, and almost $200 billion of taxpayer subsidies provided hospitals with ample cushion to get through the worst of the pandemic, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission said in its newest report.
There is, of course, variation — hospitals that treat the poorest and uninsured historically have fared worse than the dominant systems that attract those with commercial health insurance. Last year was also noticeably worse than 2020 and 2021, the years the report focused on, although MedPAC’s staff believe hospital operations are still in line with pre-pandemic levels even after accounting for higher labor and supply costs in 2022.
Consequently, the group said the industry is not on the verge of collapse, and basic hospital care broadly won’t be jeopardized for people on Medicare. Read the rest.